Incompatibility Is My Mantra (2014)


circling and settling
between two horizon lines of fine
glass crisp air I see
where I cannot see you
saying the things I see
and seeing the things I say
to you so myopic of airs
so truncated my designs
on settled minds and alibis
where nothing is ever true
is a far and away kind of sign
for answers to all sorts of blue

But back at the Writer’s Edge: a useful figure. At one workshop there were 3 Aquafina drinkers, 2 Lipton Green Tea (cold) drinkers, 1 Diet Pepsi, and 1 Diet Coke Drinker. The Aquafina drinkers consisted of a big, chunky, bald guy who name-dropped Chuck Palanuk as a friend, a Notre Dame-educated Japanese student, and me. The Green Tea drinkers were both brunettes with glasses. The Diet Pepsi was a 30-35 year old blonde (seemed housewife-ish). The Diet Coke was a 20-25 Hipster Brunette with a very long neck.

Red Desert is a visual silent spring

Red Desert tells of alienation in a post-WWII, post-modern, industrialized society in which we poison the earth, have dysfunctional sex, drink a lot of wine, and let our gaze drift existentially towards the abyss, towards the thought that we are all sovereign beings, without rhizomes (at least that we can see) to connect us, and that the only rational and sane answer to the modern world is utter primal meltdown.

Luckily, Red Desert was filmed in 1964 by Michelangelo Antonioni, when people thought the world was going to end and that we would not find the answer to the meaning of life but they were wrong, because we did.

We have now found the meaning of life. And it is still below the earth. And we still want it. And we still believe in its salvation, even if it kills us.

Rhizomes. The answer is rhizomes.

The 9/11 Memorial on a typical day in early summer, 2014, nearly 13 years since the tragedy. Visitors from nations around the world gather and snap selfies with smiling faces. Little kids spill ice cream cones to the pavers. Long lines wrap around the museum, a full-scale pat-down for anyone willing to go underground at this sacred site. Many people, only a few of them U.S. citizens, visit the space; like Americans visiting Auschwitz, to gape at the atrocity and to take a stilted, half-smiling/half-smirking family portrait. The twin holes of falling water, roaring like an outdoor public toilet fountain, combines with the utter cacophony of crybaby children and hoarse parents, making it difficult to find silence, nor solace, at this “memorial.” On this day, find a time for silence and reflection. And, proper memorials unforthcoming, say a prayer for the living.