13 JANUARY 2014



But aren't you more, now, than the thumb-set spark of a flare? That old apish mold is as out-of-action today as the god model was when Darwin first returned from the Beagle. We need, in a post-post world, more than a behaviorist's history of the mind's big bang, or so you tell yourself while walking through the room your kids are looming in. The oldest has begun to imitate your mannerisms: the way you hold a soda can, pointer finger eclipsing the opening. Over the winter, a new entity (organism does not describe it here) emerges in the household—the phrase "I mean." When your wife, your children, you, has anything to say: "I mean…" & the rest follows.// A car, beaming its brights, pulls up in your driveway, flashes twice, & leaves. You are angry, frustrated, by a video clip, years old now, of the Republican Primaries. Juan Williams, the debate host appointed by Fox News, asks the former speaker of the house, Gingrich, about his comments that poor kids should labor as janitors to receive hot lunch, a practice the moderator felt focused on black children. "Can't you see that this is viewed at a minimum as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?" Juan leans in for an answer. Gingrich composes himself, stares down the black man, (who the Romney campaign claims was a symbolic Obama to be smacked down by white conservatives) & says, simply, "No." The crowd erupts in awes & cheers & laughter.\\ The car arrives again in the front. The driver gets out, sorts through your mail, & gently returns it.// You carry the anger, like the grinding steel of a bulldozer, to bed. As you lay shirtless, your wife, who likes to play, pours water she keeps on the nightstand into your belly button. She'd done this once, & it lead to sex. "Clean it up." You lay stiff. "With what?" "Lick it out. I don't care. I'm not in the mood." She slides on her underwear. She says, "You're just trying to start a fight." When she hears the kids ruckus up, she labors upstairs to yell.// It is a cliché to say that each thing has a life, which it does not, but still—everything gets repeated, or does not, & if it does, it stays. Sure, there is no guiding force, no god, just an "is", or an "isn't". A one, or a zero. There, & there again, or not.