Friday, July 23, 2021

Inverse cocoon


23 July 2021

Rust’s gentle. The rain forest a reverse cocoon; trucks molt back into earth. No wings, just a settling in. Like a slow motion tourist, a dying butterfly, the hip bone of a pig beside the road. If you put a can in Tennessee, it works on its own absence, organizing nothing. The workman next door, 68, hates Trump, but has never had a flu shot. Mention of the new vaccine makes his face pucker. Some patients with COVID beg for the vaccine as they’re dying. Rust’s a perpetual lateness, like a sun slow to set. Unintentional art that oddly celebrates decay. The word “deconstruction,” I tell Bryant, didn’t start out in a cook book. Nor did it start in a yard full of rusted cars, the occasional fern growing from a wheel rim; rust and green complement each other, though each turns to each. In one yard, there were two old bathtubs, the kind with feet. On one end of one bathtub, there were three circles, approximating mouth and eyes, through which you could see the tub full of water and dead sticks and fronds. Laughing at its own apocalypse. The feet had feet, curled claws, a crooked smile above. Who needs a torso when you’re a tub with feet? They were part of my depression’s inventory, these tubs, along with newer, American Standard types. I see those in yards, too, but not as decorations, just junk. I didn’t have you pegged as crazy, a friend wrote to me. A neighbor’s truck sprouts ginger and ferns on its roof; the front grille resembling torn lace. Chaos in process is form. The landlord gestured toward a “formal chandelier,” which made us laugh later on.

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