Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Metaphor slips

15 November 2022

A pigeon in the palms, alas. I take my metaphors mixed, even natural ones. Organic, no poisons, no likeness that is not approved by the metaphor police. From farm to barn, not table, though we sat at picnic benches while someone else was recorded on video. Stories of the train wreck varied. They were birds flying across the compartment. She sat under the table. He bled from the side of his face.

The authorities make trauma so you can’t remember your stories. It’s not a waltz from beginning to end, or tapestry from inside to out, but old asphalt crushed in place, remixed to fix the old road. I miss macadam, if only the word.

I ask him about the singing bridge, then find it’s been replaced with a monotone. Music gets cut first.

Metaphor as replacement word: pigeon for pigeon, palm for grass. A bridge for singing; an atonal bridge. We don’t replace one thing with another but one word. The word is portable, potable, can be taken as a carry-on, so long as you put it in the overhead compartment, which contents may shift during “rough air.” Not caring becomes a yellow submarine, its frail guitar the clink of glasses. Lennon becomes Starkey.

Revision as humor’s release. The organ note exceeds its best buy date, then keeps coming back, like a dog to her rawhide. We recognize the song, but not the ceaseless note. The soul, but less drizzly November.

Is boredom arrogance, or anger? Is boredom the step between tenor and vehicle? Does the singer stop half-way, dangle his feet in the river (before the drought returns). Blankness is not dull, the mind is. On an ordinary day, he wanted to leave the yellow room and take a bus home. Panic translated as boredom. Pain as boredom. I told the kids they were lucky to be bored.

Into what mirror did you look? What did you see? If personal and political don’t rhyme, what does? The walls are tethered to the ground by horizontal wood pieces. She can’t believe the walls are so thin. The man picking up garbage at the cemetery asks me what I did for a living. He didn’t make it through school, himself. Might move to Texas or Vegas. But this is his home.

We can afford to live where we don’t belong.

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