In New Mexico, while this project still consisted of a spray of brain-stemmed hallucinations, up and down the streets roses were blooming deep red, magenta, yellow, and white. I recalled some lines from a book I had read some years before:  

All around me, my fellow-men are new grafting their vines and dwelling
in flourishing arbors; while I am forever pruning mine, till it becomes but a
stump. Yet in this pruning I will persist; I will not add, I will diminish; I will
trim myself down to the standard of what is unchangeably true. Day by day
I will drop off my redundancies; ere long I shall have stripped my ribs;
when I die they will but bury my spine.

My imagination began moving along a vertical axis, until it arrived at a skull balanced atop a spine. At this point I realized:  pretext.gif (73060 bytes) what I was looking for could only be found inside that skull, my own, bringing back all experience to that which is going to be written.


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