Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 24
Spring, 2017

New Works

Tyler Dempsey

Time As a Sort of Enemy

And at that moment I began to be afraid, because if I died, all the unbelievable things that had come true would vanish . . .
Bohumil Hrabal, I Served the King of England.


I said: "Man seeing his destiny meets unique suffering."
You said: "If you've read, Gurdjieff, you know time to be the only subjective in the universe."
"What you did to me befalls all of my sad characters."

For this, I call you—Rebecca.
I wonder why?

Writer leans into distance; a cliff saves him.
Dedication: committing to another, eavesdropping, infinity; requires concentration.
Am I worth it? Are all these stars?

Before I came you turned and told or asked me through moans to call you, "Phoebe."
You were already changing names.

Me: "All you ever eat are flowers."

Agony, over what is read and immediately lost. Creation starts well before intercourse for a woman; it starts before she is born.

Indecisiveness sows anguish wherever it travels.

Commitment: the line between holding on and gravity.

I thought I seduced you, but you built a ship. Like the first line of a poem, very short—I shoved out, but looking back you were gone.
You were with Him.

Distance between word and reader?


"I feel excited, I don't know why."
"That's how I feel."
"Does it go anywhere?"
"It doesn't stop."

From the hills of your eyes,
mine fall as stones hitting earth.
All I can do is study
your cheek in my palm.

Woman is not responsible for her behavior. There are eyes all over her.
He ceased writing for the other, and began to write for Others.

If writer wants audience, he writes, with eyes all over him.

"I'm doing what feels natural."
"I tried to abolish nature."
"Your eyes, when you stop and think, makes my heart flutter—it makes me want to sin."
"I'm believing a dream."


Realization: summiting a mountain. He is departing.

"When I'm with a lover, I want to be the only one."
I felt guilt; we were nothing, yet.

A woman takes four lovers; they are characters.
Whether they know is up to distance.

Dedication: cutting off.

We were fighting over stories. Infinity. Close to penetration, you squirmed, laughing. "Sometimes, I'm so shy, I have to laugh."
It blew me away.

Not shy.

I clear my mind; await music. When I'm watching you always have this look.

Man is God's reflection. Character, is writer, feeling for God.

Every man is a woman in darkness.


What should we do?
Women once
chased men.
How un-natural.

"Pray, so I can sleep tonight."
Love? Not love? Him chosen over others, against probable love?
Sounds like bad Wittgenstein.

You built a cage from jealousy. A test.
I see you on shore, and shouldn't bother.

Another test: "I was trying to piss you off."

"Is this broken?"
"Just the wrong idea."

"Do you believe women pursue men?"
"Characters are pursued."
"Life's inside a woman."
"For man?"
"It's the same."

I feel you're here to teach me; how confusing, characters.

"Thanks, for helping my song. I like where it's headed."
"It's going with you, Rebecca."
"What's pushing you along?"
"A ship."

Me: "How do you think of me?"
You: "How you write a story."

Tyler Dempsey writes, "My work appears in The Bacon Review, Badlands Literary Journal and The 3288 Review, and was a finalist for Glimmer Train and New Millennium Writings competitions. I live and work in Alaska."