The question is which words change the environment and which describe it. My friends toddler says mama to pick you up when shes tired (shes answering the question do you want mama to pick you up?) and kisses parked motorcycles hello.
This is New Orleans Ive spent an afternoon chasing her trike down the oak-wrecked sidewalks and reading, in lulls, Lisa Robertsons vertiginous Weather, a collection introduced by a communiqu?? from the Office for Soft Architecture (what the poet sometimes calls herself) (Enough of the least. We want to be believed.) and divided up by days of the week. This is from Wednesday:
A little checkered at 4 PM; we dribble estrangements sex. A long, soaking rain; we lift the description. A ripple ruffles the disk of a star; contact thinks. A sharp frost and a nightfall of snow; our mind is a skin. A slight cloud drifts contrary to the planet; the day might be used formally to contain a record of idleness.
Art is important to life not because it perfects or compresses life, but because its not life: in it we have perfect story logic, the legendary version of the self our lives lack, so we look. My friend Cassie told me this over Pisco Sours this summer; here in a hanging December-summer I take walks to feel better and clearer but cant write something about taking a walk that makes me feel the same way and its sort of a relief: it lets me know that theres a transmittable thickness to the present I havent reached yet.
The kiddo howls that she cant eat the dough or cant hear The Wheels on the Bus again until she sees something new; we watch her realize she has control over her own mood. Frustrating, the certainty that life takes thought; what happened to sophomore year’s ease of simple being, paperback pleasure-seeker’s Zen? The body is a great machine for problem-solving, for fighting off infirmity and injury and seeking pleasure. But in itself it has no answers for spiritual needs or felt spiritual lacks. I ask, Whats the spirit a machine for, and the answer isnt found in the body: not in littlehood, and not in age.