Saturday, November 14, 2020

Meditation 99

14 November 2020

He takes photographs of shadows on curtains. Shadows need light to grow, before descending into dark. My students refer to their identities as wholes, but mainly because they so acutely feel the holes. There’s a hole in the text, the German academic intoned, and he made a big career of that. Another student did an erasure poem of “Mending Wall,” but kept the word “gaps” in. Called it “Mending All,” as in “all lives matter,” though to say that means they don’t. The president hopes for Nuremberg but gets only a minor league park’s worth of fans. He drives through their unmasked faces on his way to golf in Sterling, the exurb not the castle. The new mask is the lack of one; hatred shows on faces better when you can see a nose and mouth, the creases they forge in cold skin. This genocide is self-, suicide by other means, since many selves are pro-life. We think we’re giving our lives, but they’re being taken. At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Trump sways back and forth like a kid who needs to pee. It’s harder to find unknowns now that there’s DNA on top of teeth, but we can imagine the unknown when we close our eyes. The whistleblower got a letter from the Defense Secretary who outed him, demanding his future silence. We heard about it. Silence is the unknown of speech. We choose not to say, or we are chosen for. He’s firing people again. Only some of us still distinguish between reality and the show, the show and whatever inspired it. There were no great women chess players in the 60s, so someone had to invent one. Another magical orphan, lacerated into drink and pills, for whom the checkered board suffices. Ça y est I could hear, but not spell. Sigh yay, was what I caught, like a mysterious man outside the window, hunting butterflies. This year trees vibrate and hum with bees again. I met a woman in the cemetery who lamented those who live there cannot see the view. It’s for their families, I say, and she hopes they come to see the Koolau. I find a marker to a couple that is clearly still alive; their photograph is to the side, and they’re smiling. The man shares my birthday, though he’s five years younger than I. I’m reading a book about dying. It’s a discipline, but you can travel there, even now.

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