Now we sit and play with a tiny toy elephant that travels a taut string. Now we are used and use in turn each other. Our hats unravel and that in itself is tragic. To be lost. To have lost. Verbs like veritable engines pulling the train of thought forward. The hat is over- turned and out comes a rabbit. Out comes a man with a monocle. Out comes a Kaiser. Yikes, it's history, that ceiling comprised of recessed squares, each leg a lifeline, each lie a wife's leg. A pulled velvet cord rings a bell and everyone comes running to watch while a year plummets into the countdown of an open mouth. A loop of razor wire closes around the circumference of a shaken globe of snow. Yellowed newsprint with its watery text, a latticework of shadow thrown onto the clear screen of the prison wall. From a mere idea comes the twine that gives totality its name. What is a theory but a tentacle reaching for a wafer of reason. The inevitable gap tragic. Sure, tragic.
Mary Jo Bang - 1946-
You know, don't you, what we're doing here? The evening laid out like a beach ball gone airless. We're watching the spectators in the bleachers. The one in the blue shirt says, "I knew, even as a child, that my mind was adding color to the moment." The one in red says, "In the dream, there was a child batting a ball back and forth. He was chanting that awful rhyme about time that eventually ends with the body making a metronome motion." By way of demonstration, he moves mechanically side to side while making a clicking noise. His friends look away. They all know how a metronome goes. You and I continue to watch because we have nothing better to do. We wait for the inevitable next: we know the crowd will rise to its feet when prompted and count— one-one-hundred, two-one-hundred, three-one-hundred—as if history were a sound that could pry apart an ever-widening abyss with a sea on the bottom. And it will go on like this. The crowd will quiet when the sea reaches us.