Saturday, November 11, 2017

11 November 2017

I want to write an honest sentence. It was a conference of clouds. Ashbery's instruction manual foretold the cloud. A woman with small dog, no shoes, told me to distinguish healthy from unhealthy clouds. She counts them from the plane, though she uses no money and wears what she makes from what she finds at the transfer station. I hold the Ashbery poem in my hand, but the man with the cloud keeps reading to me about heavy metals used to make iPhones. An unhealthy cloud is dark, but brings no rain. Her father, I find out, was the Hat Man of Maui. Broad smile, very few teeth. He'd played for the New England Patriots. When I leave, I see her again, with her tan and white dog. No one came to her panel. The man with the cloud wore multi-colored slippers under his tight rolled up pants. I watched them under the table as he read to us, lifting each printed page across as he started to read it. My head was in the clouds, though I kept trying to land, aware the final approach might push me back in the air of this room with no access to Apple TV and only a wall on which to project what might have been given. Later, I open the image of a young woman on my computer; I didn't know her but recognize her face. She died in August. We cannot grieve if we lock our cloud against the air. It's dark, but cannot cry with us; instead, our faces swell and we cough as if to transfer affect into substance. That's what I was saying, he told me, that what we think is abstract never is.

--11 November 2017

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