Saturday, December 26, 2020

Meditation 108

26 December 2020

It’s the pronouns that terrify. Lodged between the pronoun that signifies a known quantity and the pronoun that’s merely arbitrary, one pronoun took a gap year. Having planned to travel the continent, this she or he stays home, inhabiting the deep grammar of pandemic. Her poem enacted the loss of letters, until it became the page it was (not) printed on. He lost so many friends that he ate a large plate of mini-muffins bought at Costco. Binge grieving takes in more than it can swallow. Birds bring us happiness, but they also sing now. I listened to them on-line, but couldn’t pull song apart from song; the birds blended, leaving odes in short supply. "Bird thou never wert" gives the metaphor shell game away. Buy the plastic shroud for the Fit, place it over the electronics behind the mirror, then push the button to adjust what appears closer there. Car parts, tree branches, broken windows, and the echo of an artificial voice counting down. We don’t call this terror, but “a not accidental explosion.” We meant to vacate our monkey minds, but instead find the Melting Pot shattered, its staff out of work. Terror is imagination made literal. “It was like a movie,” the man said, his windows blown out. And sometimes Hollywood is like real life. Back to the shroud: it either bears witness to the oils on Christ’s skin or to grief’s gray hoodie. On the day of Premier League, it’s a bonnet, mask lifted to forehead and skull, leaving transmission possible through the breath. We can breathe, but a foot’s on the neck, all the same. "They know not what they do" can be said of many students, whose logic struts like baby goats in pajamas. Not knowing offers reason to refrain from judgment. In the dying days of this administration, more black men are executed, more white men pardoned for their crimes. He governs by fiat. The blue car wears pink eyelashes over its headlights. What they signify isn’t clear, but we’re grateful that they’re there. Banality is not evil, though it sometimes plays it on TV.

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