Quick, No Sudden Moves
I woke this morning in ruins. So that’s what all that noise was
last night. Now what to do. Get a broom? Call someone?
But I don’t know any archaeologists, and anyway,
what could they do for me now but say “yes, this is who you were,
this is what you probably ate, what you thought about the hills.”
I could have told myself that. Maybe that makes me an archaeologist
as well. I could hire myself out. Walk up and down the block
asking people if they’d like to know what they were like before
everything fell apart. What message are we sending?
What does it want from me? Hello? These are the kinds of questions
I could ask myself, that I could maybe get good money
for answering. Maybe go on TV. Say this is what the president
is thinking. Buzz buzz. I hope that same joy is what carries on
with these next ruins we’re approaching as we’ve been touring ruins
for a good number of years and still I feel at a beginning.
I am also broken, but I can get more broken, like these pillars
that looked pretty solid just yesterday, and now it turns out
they were mostly caulk. It’s always been that way. How’ve I not
seen that? And the roof it took with it, and several unidentified species
of bat and several rounds of our hopes of getting something
out of the future, maybe turn it into a rental or something. If or not
either of us has been a good person, good enough to say
“my interactions with people have been fair,” that we’d taken no
unfair advantage, and also maybe even become better people
over time. It’s hard to tell from the scorch marks on the driveway
if it was too fast a take-off or too abrupt a landing. But I’ll opt
for saying there was real promise here, that we were just about
there when it all came down. It’s time now to see the doctor,
a real doctor this time, as in the distance we hear shouts
for mercy and the occasional trombone or barking of wolves.
Nibiru, the Worst Guru in Northern California, Speaks
We’re all dying, but a lot of other people are dying faster
so the point is only one small part of the experience.
There are things such as this we can figure out by thinking
about them. Other times we have to bang things together.
Say we want to know something about people we don’t know
or understand. We could imagine their motivations,
or perhaps we could just throw them from a bridge, or perhaps
a life raft, to derail a trolley heading for a crowd or to better
understand gravity. Say the two of us are falling from a tower.
Commonsense says that the heavier of the two of us
will strike the ground first. But suppose we connect the two
in some way. Say we hold hands. One could argue that the lighter
of us acts as a brake on the heavier, slowing its fall. Then again,
one could also argue that the composite body, whose weight
is equal to the sum of the two original bodies, must fall faster
than either body alone. Now we’ve a logical contradiction.
We’re a thought experiment, when just yesterday we were living,
breathing people imagining an alternative medicine practitioner
and a faith healer stuck in an elevator, spending their waning hours
counting the rabbits that keep finding their way in
from out of their sleeves and overcoats. “What if gravity
is different for witches?” someone imagines once, in the way
that gravity is different for ghosts and saints. And what if gravity
and motion is the same force, I’m thinking right now,
just because it’s been such a bad year all around, full of bad ideas,
how all these figures are imagining themselves stationary,
as one feels no motion while falling. It’s the vendors
who really missed out, as the people who visit us here
are all dead and full of surprises about sentimentality and the sea.
It’s a kind of democracy they champion, one full of the dead,
which I realize I should’ve guessed already, but I keep trying,
like with this overhead pitch and lists on the marketing process.
It’s why the dead like us so much, our universal application.
“What’s the point in reincarnation if you can’t remember
all the other times?” they say, tossing a pair of dimes on the counter,
which causes a passing philosopher to declare a new era has begun.