The promise of flowers wrapped tightly in white. We are composing a Greek tragedy. A letter. A letter. The apical meristem. It involves a chorus in which each member has a differing opinion, an enormous antiphony. The sound of a violin set in the corner. Of marble cracking. Split the seal of an envelope. The transverse section of a stem before secondary growth in thickness has occurred. I pull flowers from the trees, I break the slender stems. To think about growth is to think about differentiation, departure. A letter, a letter. The terminal apex. There is something to watch even when you are not watching anything: the subretinal shapes that drift in the fluid of the eye, the eyelid turned to red. In the embryonic plant, one can see an accumulation of cells that already resemble rudimentary leaves.
But sometimes a reply will come, or a piece of news passed through three mouths. A broken green wick. A letter. Stamped upon fallen petals, patterns from the bottom of a shoe. Only the stem apex forms leaves and buds with a distinct arrangement. A letter. A white that gouges. We are composing a Greek tragedy, it involves the separation of a minotaur into its biological components. In the syntax of distance. Thin cracks in the marble. I have thought of all possible excuses, and this brings us closer together in some minor way. A letter. A letter. The terminal apex. Spaces are left where I have pulled flowers from the trees, and a fractured green wick. Time rendered the sharp slivers of silence less painful. Fractal, from the Latin fractus, or “to break.”
Severing the stem from the branch makes a sound like biting into an apple. A letter, a leaf. These things are reminders of divergence. The shard of silence between two sharp words. Or a letter. In the afternoon I walk around, pulling magnolias from their branches and tucking them in my pocket. White is the color of an absence or a wall. Your laughter made everyone uncomfortable: it was too loud, it went on too long. Most of the growth occurs at the apical meristem, an area which is both an end and an extension. A letter, a chasm. There was nothing inside. We are composing a Greek tragedy, it involves the voluntary loss of sight. There is something intricate and methodical about the distance between us. Branching structures in living organisms exhibit fractal patterns of growth.
Branching structures exhibit fractal patterns of growth. The boughs of these flowering trees seem to shatter through white. Rough like that chasm of sea. There is something intricate and methodical about the distance between us, something like composing a letter. You are somewhere in Spain. The seat across from you holds a certain weight. Magnolia flowers smell strong and white and they hold something hard at the center. We are composing a Greek tragedy, it involves a broken catharsis. A letter or the lack thereof. We are composing a Greek tragedy. In Waiting for Godot, the actors sit onstage until all audience members have left. Algorithmic rules that govern growth induce division of embryonic cells at the tip. I watched you watch someone else. The apex of a flower can be a sort of epitaph.
Fractionation is a breaking apart that magnifies, increasing the volume and intensity of each fragment. A thousand blossoms rustle against each other, a masked chorus gasps. When I say growing apart do I mean in separate places at the same time or is it split. Suppression of growth at lateral tips. Something fragile strewn across the lawn. Are you waiting for curtain fall to come from all directions at once with flowers, with flowers, with a white envelope. There was nothing inside. The crucial thing about growth is it cannot be undone. Remember that day the sky broke open and rain fell out. Antiphony or the lack thereof. There is something intricate and methodical about the distance between us. It can be described as a fractal: a structure which breaks apart continually, replicating itself at every scale.
A magnolia tree makes a sound in the breeze, its leaves like rustling fragments of glass. What does it mean to be out of contact, and does this term apply to phantom limbs. The sound of a violin set in the corner, or a letter. Your absence is a novel form of presence. The flowers are an inch past their prime, the petals coming loose, the blossoms slumping. In the syntax of distance, a letter signifies effort, attention. We are composing a Greek tragedy, it involves the lover turning back into an piece of carved marble. You are somewhere in Spain. I pull the flowers from their branches, and a fractured green wick. There is something practiced and methodical about the distance between us, something like reading a script out loud. Patterns of axial differentiation are preordained, following a fractal symmetry.
There is the idea that growth can be managed, if only in bits and pieces. We are composing a Greek tragedy, it involves a flaw that is tragic and debilitating, but not fatal. An end that is also an extension. I watched you get drunk. How the white wall distracts, how the white wall can be ignored. Flowers puncture the afternoon, blotting out the sun, the sky, the wall behind them. The actor may forget his lines. Your absence is a novel form of presence. Sound of potential, of passion, of marble cracking. A question mark is useless ornamentation. Spring was inevitable, like winter or fall. Flowers like claps of thunder. Even at the earliest stages of plant development, the exact angle and rate of cellular divergence can be predicted with great accuracy.
Flowers puncture the afternoon, white as the space between a question and its answer. Flowers puncture the afternoon. I think it is spring where you are, and this brings us closer together in some minor way. We are composing a Greek tragedy, although I no longer know what is being written on your end. Are you waiting for the curtain to fall. When an actor asks a question onstage he does not expect an answer, only a response. Growth cannot be undone: axial differentiation follows a fractal script. Even at the earliest stages of plant development, the exact angle and rate of cellular divergence can be predicted with great accuracy. Though there is always the possibility. A letter in a white envelope. Lacunae in blossom, and a fractured green wick. We are composing a Greek tragedy, although I no longer.
Removal of the terminal structure frees resources, allowing extension in other directions. This is the principle behind pruning. In my hand the magnolia feels like a collapsed white bird, a cool white heart, a letter. What are the flowers like where you are and are there flowers. A question mark is useless ornamentation, but sometimes a reply will come. I am composing a new word for absence, one that also implies what is missing. I opened the envelope and there was nothing inside: nothing but a check for the money you had borrowed from me. Is it white where you are. Do the trees keep time. Algorithmic rules that govern growth induce division of the embryonic tissue at the tip. The apex of a flower can be a fractured epitaph, representing both an end and an extension.
While I wrote this piece, events had a certain opacity that asked to be penetrated by either action or understanding. Because action was impossible at a distance, I turned to shapes in nature that could have been diagrams of the situation and biological texts that could have been explanations—though they disguised themselves as books on objective topics. The scientific language possessed a rigidity that gave support and structure to my feelings, but also a placidity that felt empathetic: in the patterns of divergence, division, destruction, it seemed to see growth, unvalenced and unaggressive. I wanted to write into this space between the softness and hardness of feeling, the softness and hardness of science, in order to make a text that could terminate itself and its circumstances.