Monday, September 4, 2017

4 September 2017

I want to write an honest sentence about the effect of distraction on the long poem. Confusion was depression's door man, his gloved hands and silk hat waving across our line of sight like roads in old movies, so clearly spliced in. His wall eyes had everything to do with what we could not see. Neck tilted, he gazed at the rafters, then read a poem about a dashboard, or were they windshield wipers? Over time, the discursive stain deepened into word-image. Catch echoes like geckos until they die. When out of the late night's silence a chorus of roosters and a dog, a siren and spitting rain. Type cast, like paragraphs. I cast my fate with Fate Yanagi, because someone loved her. There are words that mean something other than themselves, like leche, like faggot. When you write them on the board they last as image only. Once upon a time, the fossil poem got lost in amber and was never found. Once upon a time, we lost the meaning of such words as made our lives possible, words like “fragility” and “forgiveness.” Or pathos, which no one leaves alone. Is piano hammers on the chest, damper to the throat. Is the odd violence of music during depression. Now that his meds have kicked in, he likes piano music. There's less to take in, but it's better received. You cannot wall out sound. When there's concrete to be poured, bury Harvey's drowned pianos in it like Jimmy Hoffa at the Meadowlands. For music is an immigrant, legal or not, that crosses deserts at night and beds down beside the cactus. Or sleeps to die in containers. He was acknowledged, but cannot legislate our escape. Nor can we, ears to the tracks, praying for the distant clacking of those keys. Remember that borders became boarders (footnote, John Shoptaw), that the wall was a giant well we threw our pennies in. They're living on our dime, she said of the homeless, and we can't even afford the house we live in. They take our dollars for drugs. You might need them, too, Bryant responded, if you were sick and on the street. Her husband stopped the conversation. You cannot persuade each other, he said. And so we turned our attention to Portuguese water dogs, who leapt in the pool after orange rubber balls. Their joy salved something.

--4 September 2017

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