7.06.2017

Fuck Yeah Shirley

I am reading Rabih Alameddine’s The Angel of History. “It was hopeless, though, hopeless, and I realized that even as I showered the ingenues with a fusillade of fuck-yous. My screaming lacked punch, my late fuck-yous lacked the early oomph. I was done.”

“…And no one could understand why you’d put your zip code and even your apartment number in a poem, and I told him because it rhymed.”

All wrapped up in my unabashed obsession with memory. The familial affliction. In this house I still call it Nana’s room.

“You two have always worked together, the angel of remembering and the master of Lethe. You can’t forget if you don’t remember and you can’t remember without forgetting.”

At night across-the-street voices whirl in the room, a karmic reply to parties past. Shotgun fireworks then car door slam then tires roll. All this dissolves in my love for morning, the windows thrown open to welcome the light and the wind and the insects buzzing.

But to truly understand it here, please know: “I don’t want to flush this toilet until he’s done mowing, in case shit goes flying out the side there.”

I saw a bird flitting among the reeds near the road to the marina and thought maybe it was Anne. Do you, too, sometimes see your ancestors or childhood babysitter guiding your way? Later, tracking a black spider traversing the upper edges of the bedroom wall, I thought it was my maternal grandfather, for if there is a trickster among us it’s him. And did a firecracker spring from his head? Well of course I’m exaggerating, caught up reading about a poet who hears the voices of Satan and saints, and then I did just watch Moana, whose grandmother returns as a manta ray.

Her father’s daughter, I think, opening the soft cooler to which she has affixed a twisted green paper clip to solve the problem of a missing zipper pull.

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