Monday, February 8, 2021

Time zones

The desire to communicate--in lush Rousseau-like foliage--a line that comes to me this morning from Ashbery, as I sit in the Volcano rainforest of hapu`u ferns and apapane song. The desire to communicate with less ambition to do so. We want to be read, yes, but also to be noticed, and that is a very different proposition. It takes time and energy and no small quotient of angst, as one is never sufficiently noticed. At 60 a switch tripped, and the world fell backwards into the obscurity of early morning, as to look forward was still possible, but from a very different vantage as before. To look forward without outward ambition. To ambitiously renounce the seeking that is grasping more than being. I have boxes of Albert Saijo's books in my living room here. Found an empty manila envelope from myself, tucked in a book about Tibetan mysticism, dated June, 2000. (Reminder of Steve Collis's discovery of his own postcards to the subject of his book.) An old notebook sits at the top of one box, in the handwriting he used before he turned to block letters. Still in pencil. As if "still" worked backwards, as well as forward.

Michael Snediker's Contingent Figures: chronic pain as its own time zone, duration rather than development or even passage from, away. Always through, always inside. Ate an edible in Oregon City: felt trapped inside my body, stood outside in the cold air to end the panic. Kept saying to myself that it would end, though of course it felt more stable than time usually does. Less room to maneuver, to adjust for the circuitry of mood. How language is itself an engine of pain; the words don't feel it, but the paragraphs do. Even the antic humor of Stein is vehicle for the old bus of ache. Be sure always to sit at the front. My mother sat at the back of the bus in S. Carolina, put her feverish head on the shoulder of a black woman, and was then ordered to sit at the front. She never got over the strangeness. 

Zach the announcer chuckled when Radhika made a backwards pass off her heel and connected. The backwards pass still moves us forward in the game where very little happens, but busily. It's the shapes of soccer where beauty resides. Like geometries of light on a rusted screw that holds an old water tank together, one of the wooden ones that lurches on creaky legs. Underneath, some old children's toys and a lawnmower. The lawn, such as it is, is not flat enough to mow. The grass deceives us, as the ground beneath falls into cracks and ridges, volcanic and unsure.

Another public figure dies without reason. The reason of no reason is almost always suicide. The man with a Makapu`u license plate jumped from the building across Dominis Street, and I spent the day gazing at a stained white sheet. In San Francisco, I watched the film about those who jumped over the course of a long year. If someone had smiled at me that day. 

A rat lives between roof and ceiling, scratches morning and evening. The other day a plump black dog walked across the porch. Thinking it a pig, I went outside; saw dog eyes staring back from the forest. The dog came toward me, wanting in. The woman on the other side of the loop tells me another neighbor shot her chihuahua with an air rifle. Two dots of blood, one on each side of his belly. Her text was not answered. The man down the street has disappeared, but his beer bottles remain, a blue trampoline for his departed kids, the threatening signs. As if one would want to go on his property (which is not his) to investigate the turned over plastic chairs, the loud tire tracks. A turkey sits on his railing, walks behind the orange tape, NO TRESPASSING posted, yet again. The turkey misses him. Another day, I see a man up the loop feed the turkey. A small red wagon sits in his yard, though I've never seen a child there.

Sitting in abeyance. Liminal place that sits between ambition and its replacement player. Forget the refs calling all the fouls on one team, the better to make one (white) man great. Forget the churn, administrative or academic. Forget the sad engine of self-advancement, the web page or spam that tells me I've had my 750th mention. For a fee, they'll let me know the answer to the mystery of who has noticed me. Our tenant said he dove this past weekend and saw many pods of whales; he was so happy, his teeth lit up beneath his tan. And then they heard them underneath the ocean, singing.

The apapane get me up. They seem pleased there's sun and not rain. To anthropomorphize is to create "seems" where none or few exist. The clock stopped during the first soccer game of the weekend, though they kept playing. That is this morning, still yet moving, like Crane's bridge. A clock ticks, a bird chitters. I saw an apapane on the ferns, red dot like a happy suicide. We disappear into our concern, like a downwards periscope. The whales get it.

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