Thursday, July 20, 2017

20 July 2017

I want to write an honest sentence. This is not normal would be one. Academic mobbing is a thing; you can chart it by seeing how colleagues walk the corridors. One wears Beats and dances past. Another leaves the elevator, device planted in front of face like a palm. “Are you gossiping again?” my daughter asks and I explain that gossip is how women warn each other; it's a micro-politics that is suddenly out-sized. If he'd told me he'd recuse himself, I'd never have hired him. The individual is one thing, the all-consuming sponge another. I read Ponge as a freshman, loved and then forgot him. And now I'm trapped inside the chaos theory surfaces of a public ego. He really liked to hold my hand, he said three times in a row. Row row row your boat works as zen wisdom. My mother rowed into the Bay of Naples to be alone, but a soldier rented a boat to keep her company. Her story repeated so many times it became a round in my head. I don't remember if it's in the video the neighbor made of her telling stories, the neighbor who's now in prison for sexual assault. Undercurrents, riptides. A chain of 80 people formed from shore to the swimmers in distress. That was the good news last week. They doth accumulate, his lies, like piles of sand in an hourglass. The video of my mother now matters as much for audio of the neighbor, his inquiring voice, his fondling of her memory. Spool! Banana peels on a south London stage. Words make old technology sexy. If I had audio of that meeting, I'd put it in the closet with my mother's ashes. Don't bring up the past, they said. Don't you know students act that way? Feather in our cap, but. The drawer closed, as did my door. His poems are full of them, but they're usually ajar. Inoculation against assumptions, no anti-vaxxer I. Her photos of my son and his friend were done in fish-eye, though time warped the rest. I see he saw my message, but I get no message back. It's like responding to Trump's tweets; the glory is in doing it. But that's a distraction! The woman with the Big Gulp fed her granddaughter a spam musubi, rice clump by rice grain. She drives a pink electric car and says “true love!” at bed-time. It's Disney, you know. The French theorist had nothing on us now. You should see the refugees ride.

--20 July 2017

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