Monday, February 17, 2020

Darrell Petska - Post-Postmodern Pensées

I. Before Sleep

A disciplined knife can open a word, just one slit freeing worlds that unfold like an endless ant parade. Can we split a tear without drawing blood? The slightest sliver of tear can pierce the throbbing hive of a heart, freeing a swarm of sensibilities, virtual heart-seeking missiles to zero on him or her or them asleep beside us. Words, tears, hearts—This may sting a bit, we say, aware there must be weeping if we are to get any sleep.

II. A Tip

Confusion rides our genes like the weather: bewildered born, bewildered dying. Congresses on clarification assemble from east to west while soft southerly winds wipe our brains clean. So let us laugh. The bugs are watching, looking for an in. Even one word written large can be therapeutic, though knowing the dictionary backward and forward does not ensure sound sleep. Lying with one's head to the north helps.

III. On The Human Experience

Silence is the greatest eloquence, the dead saying more than the living. An empty page can capture the entire human experience. Every claim we make is suspect, every assumption riddled by moths. Next year, the Nobel Prize in Literature will go to the gilded mime in Prague Square. Narrow-mindedness garners but self-acclaim: such boats lack ballast. Though poets and philosophers run fools' errands, inaction offers little but rust.

IV. Always, The Laughter

Animal magnetism generates our species. No one is immune, though not everyone fattens at that trough. The breadth of one's reach is crucial. A long nose often points the way. Discouragement is not subtle: step aside, you fainthearted. Science is sound but will is weak. The resulting heredity is a lottery. In the end we are babes in les bois to believe we know our heart's true desires. Hear, in the wings, Mozart's soundless laughter.

V. With a Chance of Rain

Birds get high on the seeds of discipline. And what do our dexterous hands tend to sow? Spinach, which is why our children renounce us. All too soon, they figure things out and declare their playgrounds puerile. To combat time-spatial drift, we become so deliberate that our lives can be forecast like the weather. Birds build their castles. We queue like lemmings and bemoan our indigestion—as close to will as we can come.

VI. Consider the Pansy

What has the pansy to say for itself with such bluster in the world? Post-postmodern dogs and cats feel compelled to remark on every moment—gone the days of scratch and sniff and ye shall know. Maxims are too abstruse for the football generation. A few lines of discourse roam the city seeking a room, but the inns are full of advertisements. The pansy feels no compunctions, its smile in face of nature's pejoratives truly remarkable.

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