That’s What I’m Talking About
It appears, finally, that I have a plan that works.
It is not just a response to the damaged stars.
It has nothing to do with the buzzards circling
just beyond the next ridge. It is nothing like
Jerry fighting his mutant goose along the canal.
One day he was doing one of Mingus’ shouts,
Eat That Chicken, and reading his version of
Ecclesiastes’ Preacher to Lynn and me at the table.
That was the day I touched the sky and the birds
shivered, the day an injured wind approached from
the hills. Mingus tells us the best truths are fictions.
It’s when our words hatch in someone else’s ear.
Like when the Preacher says everything is good
but doesn’t believe it. Everything is wind on the road.
It’s when the old dreams return to their barracks.
There’s some news I’m avoiding here as long as I can.
The moths are trying to remind the porch light.
The trees are becoming rebellious. It’s not like ZIP,
the new drug that cuts out PKM Zeta to make us
forget whatever bothers us. Does this mean we
don’t have to worry about my already bruised
conscience? Maybe I can forget about the 53 people
killed in mass shootings in the last month, or
the 40 killed yesterday by a suicide bomber
in Pakistan, or the couple that tried to elope
and were executed by the Taliban in Kush Rud.
But that’s not the news, so the flowers seem puzzled.
They don’t know where their roots end. And the errors
of the clouds are hardly ever remembered. Jerry’s
Preacher says we should either hate or love, like
Catullus, or even Kant, but I prefer Kierkegaard
who became all his characters. He knew the way
the grass dreams about the sky until it becomes sky.
He knew before we did that the heart’s cells can
renew themselves. Heraclitus knew only the hidden is
real. Global warming was predicted by a Swede in
1896. The Mosquito Hawk has been around for
28,000 years, longer than anyone could have predicted.
I can hear tornado sirens but none has touched down.
Now the crows are pressing down on the earth.
My plan is to sail unnoticed in the wake of the evening.
An owl pulls itself over the horizon. It’s as arbitrary
as it sounds. 10,000 years ago I’d be sitting in
the middle of a glacier. I’ve almost finished
my catalogue of things to be forgotten. It’s just
those old deaths we carry around like loose change.
If only they could tell us more over time. Wormholes
can appear anywhere and suck you into another
world. Maybe that’s why DaVinci wrote everything
backwards in a mirror. His Mona Lisa has no eyelashes,
and bad teeth her smile hides. Any quantum particle
can be in multiple time frames at once. It resembles
swarm intelligence of ants that exchange a dozen
pherenomes as a kind of vocabulary more subtle
than ours. Each atom is a kind of window. This is
why they are so adaptable and progressive. The Taliban
must live in some forgotten century. Their cell doors are
all closing. Our hopes are being sent through the supply
lines of the heart trying to avoid Somali Pirates. “The past is
not even past,” wrote Faulkner. Every minute something new
surfaces from it, like the news of Deborah’s suicide that
Robin just sent and I’ll send to Jerry. I feel like I should
draw the curtains here, but that’s not what she would do.
It’s like someone juggling the keys at the door because
none seems to ever fit the lock. That’s why my plan comes
together so slowly. Like the supposedly extinct fish
they eventually caught in South Asia. It takes a hive
2 million flowers to make a pound of honey. Deborah’s
poem about the bees sees their hives as tombs. A jiffy is
1/100th of a second, as fast as a life sometimes seems
when it ends too soon. Time sticks to the walls after
any tragedy. It refuses to fly. It refuses to speak. I would
be happy if it hovered at the height of the bee that haunts
my door. Space has recently been determined to start
at 73 miles where the air is too thin to support a plane.
Kundera sees this sort of lightness as heavy. You weigh
a bit less during full moon because of its gravitational pull.
New shoots flame up overnight. They are strong enough
to scatter the ground fog. In the future viruses may
empower our batteries, and soon after, our imaginations.
Deborah told Jerry’s story about a poem having to work
in every room. This morning the light is so fierce it claws
its way down the trees. The gardens are sleeping. The road is
tired. Terri says the best way to understand all this is
the way you look at a landscape facing backwards
in a train as we did on our way to Pompeii. The whole
city was a victim of a depressed mountain. Everyone could
see that the moon was poorly spoken. Each life is encased
in its own cocoon. It’s a dream that seeds the night.
It’s the calendar we live inside, the page that gets pulled
as we look ahead. I don’t know. There were days when we could
catch light in a butterfly net. The idea was to set it free that night.
Everything is unexpected. There’s another volcano gesturing
towards heaven from the Galapagos Islands. Darwin would say
everything changes. It’s shadows stick to the sky like leeches.
Some people believe animals evolved from algae ponds.
The stars are sleepy. The road has lost its way.
There’s a goose by the pond the others have shunned.
Where will there reflections go when they all fly off?
I don’t know, time is a straightjacket, it hibernates inside us,
it seemed like talking was the best way to skirmish with it,
at least that was the plan, the world that sleeps under your tongue.
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