Sunday, July 11, 2021

Screen memory


11 July 2021

The difference between insurrection and resurrection is smaller than you might think. At least if you believe those who claim Trump will be back in August, having won recounts in all states, literal and metaphorical. On the committee, she said NO and NO and NO, which clued me in to the power of negation. McConnell’s hardly a poet, but he knows the shape of an o after a hard consonant. The novelist’s “so it goes” articulates inertia and acceptance both, with a twist of irony that teases your lexical palate. Invisible illnesses earn invisible best wishes; we’re scared of what we cannot see. It’s like living in the hotel in The Shining, where each corridor caresses horror like wallpaper its flowers. Guilt is hallucinated control; what we don’t have can only hurt others, then redound to ourselves like a tennis ball slammed against a green wall. The green screen makes everything possible, but that shade of green isn’t natural, not like a rain forest’s stunning-in-its-sameness green. East coast greens are more various he said, on seeing them for the first time. Our greens are layered only in space, not in hue. An orchard of ferns embraces the Buddha, but who embraces Lee and Jackson, except the arid crust of a museum’s air? Put them behind glass. Though we see through it, glass enforces distance. This is old, it says, without making a sound. To see through is different from seeing, though it’s better than thinking Honolulu is paradise. What is paradise once the window-washers get to it? Advertising copy puts it elsewhere in time. When I came over the dune and saw Kailua Beach again, I thought how beautiful this is. Then I saw a tourist take its image with her phone. That image will find its use, apart from sand.

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