Sunday, September 13, 2020

Meditation 92


13 September 2020

Insomnia’s a generator, when the electricity’s otherwise down. Hash and rehash, covid-bash, flash backward. Murphy’s walker likes jazz, yes (it’s on his cap), but he’s been watching all twelve seasons of CHEERS. Yes, he watches Seth Markow (radio jazz DJ). I find abstractions in the cemetery; they don’t begin that way but as cement covers, pieces of scrap metal, particles of petals outside a storm sewer. I tell my students not to start from truth, but to get us there somehow. I don’t know what truths might be, and I’m pretty sure we never get to them, but that’s not to say that the petal isn’t worth our focus. Focalize, don’t idolize. The closer you get, the less you're able to worship image or icon. Small Russian women singing. I tell him my ear is my strongest sense. It’s not the image of the man falling on 9/11 that gets me, but the thudding of bodies on a roof. They don’t play that audio any more. We still move to the deadbeat of our own drummer. The president tells a reporter he drinks the Kool-aid; I forgot that referred to Jonestown. Projection is a mask, and he wears it well. In the newer dentist’s office I have to spit foam back into the blue cup I gargle from. The hygienist says the best place to fish is at Lanikai boat ramp. “The water boils in the morning with fish,” she tells me through her blue mask (I catch most words, but not all of them). No more fishing Nanakuli side; great place to go but once you pull the papio out of the water, you have only a head on your hook; needle fish work from the other side, eating as you catch. One of the guys at the cemetery gate cheers as Lilith and I approach. I ask who’s winning. The Raiders, he says grinning; they’re beating the Panthers, the Carolina Panthers. We put trigger warnings on our poems now for class. The bike shop moved, and the place now triggers him. Used to be a real estate office. Back in the corner behind the bikes is where he was abused. I get a forgiving comment about my Pidgin and google the author. He wrote Why I Read Gertrude Stein. The man who took my Stein class cries when he reads his poem about domestic abuse. The shotgun shattered when it met her body. His sister hid in a bathroom all night long. The actress said he tied her up and beat her. There's repetition, all right.

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