Wednesday, May 20, 2015


There are glorious entertainments in this miserable world, could we find them out. The ancient mask looked astonished before the man sledge-hammered it. “Authorities worry the iconoclastic group of ISIS will destroy the ancient city of Palmyra.” 1981: tiny women, shawls thrown over their bent backs, leaned to kiss icons in Novgorod's “working churches.” No one wins the zero-sum game. My second grade teacher's teacher was ninth in line when the Gestapo shot every tenth man. Shorten the sums: kill every fifth man, because every fourth will betray him. Then gin up for the sixth. Surely someone believes your grand idea, but you can't see through their half-closed eyes. The penal colony's deathly invention kept me awake at night. Later I was told it's funnier in German.

--20 May 2015

1 comment:

Karen said...

This one has me at your first line. What is that impulse to destroy beautiful art and architecture? In the 3rd grade classes I've been visiting, we talk about all the things that have happened to the Mona Lisa, and the children are astonished. Even their occasional tantrums give them no frame of reference for that level of destruction and thievery. The line "second grade teacher's teacher" completely hollowed me out, and the ending is just brilliant.