The lapse of luxury

"It is bitter to have loved and lost than never to laugh it off," Bamuall Subtler

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Learning to be a Thing

Imagine a classroom or the one you are in right now.
It is a lake.
Just out of wading’s reach are heaps of wreckage doing yoga asanas.
A boy who doesn’t feel himself today is walking bitterly on slimy stones, slipping and walking on bird-covered stepping stones.
They fly on and off as he walks, and he ignores them,
best as he can,
until his ears are shaken by the continuous flapping.

Things are moving like a quick cloud around this classroom. Gulls, crows and jays remind him of something, but he can’t make out a thing.
Smoking clouds drip ferns on the mountains on either side of the lake.
This classroom is as suffocating as a room.

He noted several types of water, the birds noticed several types of water, but he could not remember the word for water.
The idea of water evaded his thoughts, which went:
“There is a link between all these things:
the thing that flows
the thing I breathe
the thing that laps
the thing that chills
the thing that drips speckly
the thing that prickles.
I’m just fooling myself, there is no point to create a link between these things.”

The dog chases its phantom tail,
long ago cut by the well-meaning school-master, who often pointed out,
“Some things are better left unlearned, unsaid, and undone.”



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