Monday, September 7, 2020

Meditation 91

7 September 2020

The aftermath of morning showers: an unseen drip, cold punctuation on my left shin, young birds screeching at older ones, a near-constant hum of tires on Kahekili. I’m not gathering paradise, but detail, to generate my sentences. A white ESPN commentator weeps because he can’t imagine fearing for his sons when they leave the house. My laptop computer screen catches tears from the overhang. I’d rather be outside this morning where humidity is honest and light shifts with a cloud’s white-blue edge. Is it unambitious to think these sentences change nothing, that it's wise for universities to cut liberal arts and train us into the high-paying tech jobs of the future? You have to be rich to write poetry, Lissa declares; the counter-economy still depends on a stock market to generate its unsaleable harvest. I go back to take out definite articles, as if they made each sentence rigid as Frost’s satin cloth. Yesterday, each in his zoom box appeared worn; the teacher talked about love and trust, but everyone else talked about not talking about death. The trombone emitted not one but three sounds, a harmonics of blowing and singing at the same time. Each man on that Berlin stage is now dead. Sonny Rollins (90 years old today!) blows his horn on the stone stage just before he will fall, breaking his heel every time. YouTube’s a fucking blessing, bringing back the voices of the dead and, as of yesterday, Lou Brock’s stolen bases. The trombone with its pop-up slide makes Germanic jazz, and Brock reminds us of Jesse Owens. Memory over-determines history to organize events into pattern. Memory's a mode of counter-time, but it costs a Casio. A broken watch keeps no thyme, as my friend heard her doctor say. No thyme like the present, no pain that doesn’t flower. I wipe tears from my monitor, as if my third finger were a rubber wiper and I a mother tending to her sick child. Each machine crashes in its own way; to each family its own unhappiness. One piece featured a Polish violinist playing jazz. It was a heavy, mournful, funny sound when the trombone laid its screech above the strings’ low drone. A family friend sends his drone over a black sand beach in California. Nature can't escape surveillance culture. I do my best to evade admin’s paperwork; have I listed my student learner outcomes, my foci, the Title IX paragraph? I don’t tell anyone about my student “no show.” There’s money involved. That’s another form of attending.

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