He speaks, beard flashing red, makes me wonder, what should I say? How do I write right, right? No one can come to you or me and just dive, just swim, into a pool of clear silver thoughts like a pensive soul and create ripples. Such things are unheard of, unseen unfelt untouched untasted yet not understood, except by those who wisely wind us up, ticking like faulty crumbling toy soldiers to walk clockwork towards the living room fireplace where nothing but ash awaits. Life is like that, constantly moving with no purpose beyond purposefully slow steps towards an oncoming car or train or speeding bullet or falling shoe left by someone who has carelessly thrown it across the room. I wonder what this has to do with a red beard and think that maybe it doesn't, maybe it like everything else just patiently walks on the carpet of polyester and dozing dreams, approaching the horizon but never quite reaching it, like a ship moving backwards, pulling backwards with the tide towards a bottle that will trap it and save it forever, for some collector to pick and poke and appraise. How would the crew of such a ship feel, being immortalized in a clear tranquil prison monument for all the collector's friends to admire, acquaintances to impress, enemies to envy. Would they feel how we feel everyday, is that all life is, just messages messages messages to people we'll never meet who don't know how to speak in tongues of thought like the rest of us, is that what bottles were made for, to send such dreams away to be locked up and forgotten? Now I see a bottle sitting next to the toy soldiers that approach their afterlife (which of course does not appear so to them but to their creator) and the bottle is empty but for a few drops of watery milk, and dust, and a pale black spider. The bottle is empty, and the ship has been eaten, and the crew are drowned in beverage juice, but the dream is nowhere to be found--so where did it go? Maybe the maker of the toy soldiers discovered it at the bottom of his drink, and is ruminating over it and dissecting it, and needs to understand it to understand himself. And maybe he will take it to his neighbor the bottle collector, and advise him to "be more careful next time," and the collector, instead of putting it back in with an unfriendly unalike unthinking ship and crew, puts it in a silver goblet next to his bed and saves it for later. And maybe the toymaker returns to his house, and thinks about whether the bottle of memories was half empty or quarter empty or completely full of his meaning for being, and remembers the face of his neighbor, and oh-so-carefully plucks each toy soldier off of the carpet march to be placed on a shelf. For even toymakers need friends, I think. And maybe he happens to have a red beard, and tells us to write, write like your hand is falling off and your mind is a waterfall and thought flow upward like migrating salmon, trying to escape from the paper and pen to the bottle in your head where they will be safe. Or maybe I am optimistic and maybe I am naive and idealistic and maybe such things do not work that way according to the laws of poetry, god, and the universe. Maybe I am wrong, but also maybe I am unsure. That would be a good place to end, "unsure," compromising, foolish, aesthetic, intellectual, humble, bare, fragmented.