Sunday, October 16, 2022

A metaphor is for


16 October 2022

A large piece of palm is trapped in a neighbor’s yarn spiderweb. Leaves pirouette from the webs of Volcano; this yarn web signals stasis. Oh web without maker, what do you mean to tell us? Ben hates metaphor because it takes us away from what is tangibly here. I respond they also make real toads. Not that I have any proof, but I believe it’s so, and that’s enough in this climate. Nor do I think metaphor markets in religion, though webs have been so used, not to denote death traps, but as images of connection. If I were to dream a train whose tracks were iron only in the direction it traveled, as what it left behind melted like sap into the trellis’s cross hairs, I might have explained something. Then again, explanation’s over-rated. To explain is neither to praise nor defame, posit nor deposit. It’s a neutral space, like the old Walter Cronkite. One can believe in nets without knowing what they contain.

Russia pulls men off the streets to fight in the Ukraine, taking men from prison. They hunt men to hunt other men. The sidewalk might be a trap, or a rural road. The trap is violence front-dated, once their week of training is complete. Your debt is men who are still alive, then so quickly spent. In the poem, the bridegrooms are already dead. To marry a dead man is an act of back-dated faith. I loved the man so I must love his corpse. The beauty of our net gets shredded inside the thought of men falling into theirs. Pyramid scheme that collapses under the weight of the trap itself, if it were an idea. The man’s mother was sent to Siberia; her sister survived the death camps. The first woman left food on her plate; the second one couldn’t bear to see a single crumb.

To pull a shark from a net, or a turtle. To save a man from dying and then, handed an award by the police, to eviscerate them. To take your moment cold, knowing it’s there. The eucalyptus tree near the swimming pool has trapped a gecko in its goop. It’s a web that’s only a trap, perhaps. When I went back, ants had found the gecko, covered it with bodies and legs, dim against black sap, visible only where the tree was dry. Neither tree nor ants intended to catch the gecko and consume it. This was not design, but accident, netting similar result. The iPhone makes the real more real. If dementia is surrealism brought to earth, then this tree’s sap-covered roots appear demented. Tomorrow the gecko will have been forgotten, by tree and by ant and by me. To eat is to forget.

--for Ben F.

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