Eight Answers

i. Is half a stone still a whole stone?

In the microcosm of the body is the heart, in the microcosm of the heart is the clenching muscle ignored, in the muscle are the fibers that twine and tense and pulse, in the fibers are filaments striated and sliding across one another, in the filaments are giant proteins thick and titillating, in the giant proteins are small molecular springs constructed like a cross between a three-legged stool and a clock ticking and ticking, the springs bounce like children sliding down the stairs and glow like cat’s eyes in the dark or jellyfish in the deep.

ii. Do grains of sand get tired of being recycled into mountains?

There is a memory of having been a mountain, complete with irony and the assumption of youthful arrogance, a sense of wholeness we did not recognize until it was lost. Once we are broken, it opens so many perspectives, faceted like insect eyes, but carry the memories and little eyes in your pockets, crust your feet with memories and eyes, then walk and keep walking, until you lie down and give the memories away to someone else.

iii. If you crossed a bat with a mushroom, would you get an umbrella

The little gray bat disturbed by construction clung timidly to the gray brick acutely angled in its old walls. A safe space, hidden in corners and under roof edges, obscure & quiet. Bats, bats, the gardener’s friend, voracious consumer of mosquitos and other pesky insects, with faces like baby kittens, squashed, sweet, and blind. I dream of a bathouse high in a pine, stuffed as dense with bats as the gills of a mushroom are stuffed with spores, the spores falling down upon paper in the shape of umbrella spines, but loose and light, spreading, spreading through the air, and dissolving.

iv. Do the glasses one wears in a dream require a prescription?

Try this one, how is that? Or what about this other? Hmmm. Lens after lens, color after color. Which hue unknots the primordial twist of the heart? Which tint smoothes the wrinkles of the brain with delight, in a way you never imagined? Don’t walk but run through your dream vision, leap as if you are a child for the first time seeing in three-dimensions shouting for joy, “The tree is on this side of the river!” What is so obvious in dreams that we cannot see awake, unless the rainbow covers our eyes?

v. What songs do they sing in a school without windows?

Touch morning grasses, sweet and down low;
when they are wet, the sky will be dry,
when they are dry, the winds surely blow.

The winds surely blow, dear, the winds surely blow;
God’s hand presses down, and the grasses bow low;
the grasses bow low and then they bounce back,
the winds they grow closer, and hit our face, Smack!

vi. Do the daisies love us or not?

She loved daisies. It began with a late spring snowfall, big wet flakes falling slowly on the backs of black horses pulling the wooden wagon to the cemetery. It was a dry year after that, with few flowers blooming, except the daisies. So that first year after her mother died, her father left them at the orphanage, the orphan trains took her siblings away, except for her who was too old, and she carried bouquets of daisies to her mother, day after day, week after week.

vii. Is there any reason to believe that we’ll have working mouthparts in the next life?

Why is it that we link hunger and thought and sex into one cavity of the body and its opening? Is there anything more necessary and intimate than the mouth? What a curious and efficient adaptation. Or inefficient, if you must do without it. The sweet woman with cancer of the mouth, the soldier with his jaw shot off — do they morph into butterflies or moths, dancing in a silent flight that says everything necessary, then mating and falling into a slow and permanent sleep.

viii. What kind of cartilage connects us to the stars?

Microscope, telescope, they make things look big, things that are small, things that look small, whatever. Now they are big and bigger. Little ferny fronds of the Fallopian tubes glow like living coral or the spaces of the Eagle Nebula. Calcifications in my breasts glitter on the x-ray like stars, webbed and fragile as a spider delicately plucking and ducking, soft as the air between the spines of feathers. So lovely. Boil me into soup, a gelatinous stew, delicious. Spin me out a molecule-thick mist with edges dancing like fingers, dancing like starvation, dancing like disaster.

by PF Anderson

In response to:
Via Negativa, “Eight Questions.” http://www.vianegativa.us/2010/07/eight-questions/

4 responses to “Eight Answers

  1. Pingback: Via Negativa

  2. Wow.

    The sweet woman with cancer of the mouth, the soldier with his jaw shot off — do they morph into butterflies or moths, dancing in a silent flight that says everything necessary, then mating and falling into a slow and permanent sleep.

    That’s going to stay with me.

    • I had done an earlier poem called, “The Eyes of Men With No Mouths.” When Dave posted his question, the images that inspired that blossomed into my mind all fresh again. Now I will have to try to find that again …

  3. I love the imagery and playfulness of the wording. I always wear glasses in SL, I am sure I must in my dreams (but I do not recall any mirrors in my dreams, so hard to know). I love the question is a half stone still a stone (one of my fuzzy logic examples is – when does a small pile of chalk become a large pile of chalk). Very nice piece.

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