From Here Your Future Looks Very Small
The Day is a Manhole The day is a manhole you drop into in broad daylight. Everything had been quite fine, though the electronic chirps of birds from the far east roused you from an early dream in which women were heaving their bodies like Rusalkas into the sea. The way he squeezed you was criminal. The way your future looks from here is very small. Through a telescope you can see him by the pool, his pale children in their suits. He cannot hear Jeanne-Marie Darré playing Chopin’s waltz or Rimsky’s Scheherazade popping with age on the record player by the open window. And outside? Miles of trees, reddish crowns you are too late identifying as fire, an emptiness both familiar and penitent, like wondering about a particular sign that says CAUTION as you’re falling.
Birds in Space On the list of things I can live without: tomato slicers, wedding speeches, miniature replicas of the world’s majestic structures. The towering Cyclone with its 60-degree plunge. Everything starts somewhere, most obviously in the body where the multiplicate cells split and copy, 50 billion of them a day, while the nerves leap and desist in turn. So many things designed to prompt them! The Romanian sculptor and his birds in space. Subjective sensations argued by Schopenhauer. Artificial lights; county fairs. I don’t want to get stuck in a car chain-linked to other cars, creeping up the back rail of a trestle. I don’t want to be taken inside any leery version of something else, debating the Principle of Sufficient Reason, thrown into space and held there in a rusty portal to bliss. At Coney Island, the benches line the boardwalk like Neolithic stones to the Fun House. In the Hall of Mirrors, your actual body cannot be found. Each convexed figure peers out from the infinite, the thrill in the ad infinitum, the fun a vacuum of your own repeating face.