Friday, June 11, 2021

Bee's heads


11 June 2021

The graffiti on a whitish tarp screams at the owner of the large dog that attacked a homeless person’s small dog. I didn’t take the picture. Writing it down is another violation, or act of witness. They rhyme. Witness your internal organs, the yoga teacher says. Witness American violence, the Roshi tells us. A friend watched beheadings, to be witness. Another posts a bee’s head on Instagram, framed by sidewalk. Yet another the mural of a child bearing his arm with menace. To bear arms: bear = give birth to, or large mammal celebrated in Hilo coffee shop; arms: what we use to control our opposable thumbs. Thumbs and guns, by way of Susan Howe. I talk to a Chinese Susan about mental health activism. Names are arms to hold us inside our decades like artifacts. After an American woman hugged him, Thich Nat Hahn created a meditation of it. Like every form, it goes slowly. Lift it in your hands, like your heart. (Bryant shrinks from that, as he sees a heart that slobbers blood in his hand). It’s not an actual image, I tell him, though my yoga teacher has synesthesia; she smells what is not there (flower). The flower (here) punches my memory clock, though it's only a word. The 10 poems that will change your life are found, drenched, between hard covers on a fence in the Park. Bryant opens to page 80-something and finds “amoeba of ancestry” about a Galway Kinnell poem. Marthe had a story about jumping out a window to avoid Kinnell’s attention, amoebic in their oblivion to boundary (or bear). An Irishman in the woods is still Irish, no? Reaching up to the top of a fence, the girl fought off a bear too interested in her dogs. Punch a shark in the nose. The football coach’s 10 year old son told his father about a doctor's abuse; the coach punched him in the stomach. That was the beginning of the end, he says, a man in his 60s, suffering from abuse and a father’s violent neglect. We come here to avoid his triggers, and that takes us back to guns, as if we were rowing our boat in rounds and they turned to arms slung through the water of a northern lake, hunting our memories like ghost-beings. He’s seen one, and so has our son, his absent deceased first mother. I said, both your mothers are rooting for you. She and I are a team that lacks any common language except “son.” He was offered to me, but the gift was of two minds, precious cargo composed of sorrows. The iPhone witness earned a citation from the Pulitzer committee; she came armed with a phone. He came armed with leg and foot and no emotion we can locate in those blue eyes. Had a gun, but didn’t use it. Gun and moon offer eclipse, and sometimes the blood moon comes on like an allergic reaction. The daughter of the senator who blocks bills tried to charge more money than almost anyone has for Epipens. Only the rich can survive their shellfish, their peanuts, their bees and their beheadings.

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