Where force is sovereign, justice is unreal. A yellow sign at the corner of Kahekili and the cemetery reads, “Unko Buys Houses / Any Condition.” I thought I saw Uncle Ho in a Toyota station wagon turning right. On my way out, driving a Scion with “Defend Hawai'i” license frame, a tall Hawaiian man wore a small yellow flower tucked behind his left ear. Leo's grandma put her glasses in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm them up. That's a bad sign. What thou lovest well remains. A woman sits in a white pick-up smoking a cigarette while her husband squats on an upended milk basket beside a fresh grave. The baby who lived and died on a single day is remembered with stalks of ginger in a bronze vase. So is Allen, age 17, who died in a car crash in 1999. As if catalogue could accumulate enough feeling to #Resist. As if attention were a form of justice, seeking like an octopus to touch an object before it dissolves. “I want to do something with all this language,” a young man says, “but it feels too dirty to touch.” He signed up for my course in the avant-garde.
--7 January 2017