April 26, 2016
Apr 26, 2016
You don’t have to pay taxes on your feelings. You don’t have to fill a bucket with snow. You don’t have to carry the bucket from Aunt Clover’s. . . .
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response
You don’t have to pay taxes on your feelings. You don’t have to fill a bucket with snow. You don’t have to carry the bucket from Aunt Clover’s. You don’t have to let the critters out their cove. You don’t have to be dexterous, eclectic or bright. You don’t have to think “red powder” hundred-times-fast. You don’t have to slay maimed adversaries today. You don’t have to be such an asshole. You don’t have to arrange these by size, color, order or kind, like Dijon mustard. Your sinus
ignites somewhere deep in the tropics. A yellow bird drops you a world’s smallest tundra, thoughtfully. All the landscape speeds back to its vanishing point. Are you ready for your induction?
I ingratiate myself with electrical haircuts. In the house of forestry I learn from my disciple. In that which I invest, you’ll witness me invested. Were there another gesture I would know, having invented these sublimes.
Are you a carpetbagger? Are you what they call modern art? Are you in cahoots with the rebels? Are you the rebels? Are you authorized to drive a motor vehicle? Are you aware of my condition? Are you, would you say, cat-friendly? Are you going to help me off this island? I’m a stranger, and it’s dark. Are you listening?
Here’s a dream: George Clooney gets into a boating accident and wakes up in this meadow. Clooney, figuring himself to be marooned in the Pacific, finds a dry cave in which to sleep, takes to eating indigenous flora, etc. Trouble is he’s in Arkansas, on account of an elaborate scheme concocted by those who manage boating insurance. Now George has to piece together the evidence, such as the sun’s trajectory in relation to its zenith, why the locals talk so funny. It ends without him ever realizing the extent of his beguilement.
Spooning a yellow bowl of custard, I realize I’ve woken to another kind of sleep. My table dips as I remember it, the vase its usual flame. The little crab that descends from my curtains always, where is he?
It was Parisian summer and provident. I read as much Proust as I ever would. Stars shift crab-wise to metaphorical music.
Come, slip into atomic exports. Shipmates lambast former harbor, shirtsleeves afloat waters. Nobody much says “schooner” anymore.
In these memory parts you ain’t welcome here. This milk is sweet – it’s milk. Not unlike your first sky geometry.
Among my many symptoms are the late sestinas. Among my friends is a man called Diesel. There’s some glassware requiring immediate attention.
In swath of black velvet the days eclipse whatever before them. Nobody asked for the poem to end, and it didn’t. What about my friend who spends so much time fiddling between barnacle beds, Diesel?
In 1851 nothing happened to my knowledge. The following year my ancestors were discovered in an island cave off the coast of what’s now lower Harlem. Non-indigenous peoples, we got by.
Proust says that to get to know someone, you have to ask them some uncomfortable questions. But what if she speaks an English not heard since albatross days? Or dreams always of something something meadow hawks.
The pioneers of our time draft water tables. Plus my raft in modern lamplight. If you listen suddenly, it’s all there.
While we have you...
...we need your help. Confronting the many challenges of COVID-19—from the medical to the economic, the social to the political—demands all the moral and deliberative clarity we can muster. In Thinking in a Pandemic, we’ve organized the latest arguments from doctors and epidemiologists, philosophers and economists, legal scholars and historians, activists and citizens, as they think not just through this moment but beyond it. While much remains uncertain, Boston Review’s responsibility to public reason is sure. That’s why you’ll never see a paywall or ads. It also means that we rely on you, our readers, for support. If you like what you read here, pledge your contribution to keep it free for everyone by making a tax-deductible donation.
April 26, 2016