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The Wound That Never Heals

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Science can’t save you, neither can religion, at least Popper and Niebuhr, philosophers and poets, are entertainers, which is why actors and athletes are paid so much. Thanks for the summaries. I was teaching Shakespeare’s 92nd ridiculous sonnet to my student who lays blacktop in the off season Shakespeare bellyaching about dying without her love a feeling foreign to a modern adolescent sensibility although many teens are pretty far gone searching for their mothers or fathers in their dazed lovers’ eyes. Which is why we call it “the wound that never heals.” Or the lesion that’s always lengthening. And bleeding. Muslim fundamentalists and their Christian counterparts are a mystery to me. Pews and prayer rugs, the airless indoor environment of religious worship, reading scriptures, hypnotized by hymns and fainting from staring at candles through stained glass windows, almost certain the preacher is faking his certainty about the afterlife. It’s not my problem. A more immediate concern: receding gums and tooth extractions, swollen joints, poor lubrication and circulation, wave after wave of viral infection, the occasional antibiotic-resistant bacterial attack, usually urinary, and who knows what internal organs are dividing and conquering without mercy or cease, i.e. the wound that never heals. It is wise not to overvalue your continued existence, good not to be innumerate, unable to compare a mere 80 years with say 6.0 x 109 or all of time (to date) times the multiverse. Conversely, it is interesting all of space and most of history is contained in your little mind (realizing of course it’s just a map of the cosmos not the cosmos itself, or is it?). I’m unable to wrestle free, tongue in that cavity and locked in my memories, so separate and disparate from the biomass in the crosswalks, even my spouse. Alone, so alone, even your doctor can only devote limited thought to your situational mortality through the redress of poetry—also a wound that never heals. Snow for eternity, that’s what this February’s been. All to the good, for someone it’s the final February so enjoy it to the extent you can. By that I mean joy. Joy at birth. Joy at death. All joy. All times. Anyway. That was Shakespeare’s message: even tragedies are comedies. May, a Buddhist, chants each morning. Her husband, Marc, who’s Jewish, plays league tennis. Their son, Aaron, will soon make Eagle scout. How does it relate to your wound that never heals? Luck runs out. For D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico or Ulysses S. Grant in Ohio or Yasujiro Ozu in Tokyo or Satyajit Ray in Bombay or Rabindranath Tagore in Bangalore or at the Battle of the Atlantic in the Azores. The night is a poultice, winter or summer solstice. My anonymity will not affect the anomie ghettoside seeing for myself how season by season vacations and accomplishments accumulate, late in life and early on, sunrise over mountains or moonrise over Bronx. Masturbator, prisoner of war. Hospice of the Holy Roman Empire. Numerous blue notes: the 3 flat, 7 flat, 5 flat, the 6 flat and the 2 flat too. I don’t get what Wallace Stevens means by imagination. When groundhog shows up as a totem, there is opportunity to explore the mystery of death without dying. This then is the purpose of purposelessness (and of eating less)! Now what about that wound that never heals. The Skeptical Observer column in Scientific American was somewhat alarming when he accepted a paranormal explanation for how his wife’s grandfather’s inoperable transistor radio played music from its hiding spot in his sock drawer on, and only on, their wedding day. Now I’ll have to believe my father (or mother!) is watching me perform private sexual acts with (or without) partners or that they could even know my thoughts. Or aliens are attending our committee meetings and making perfectly reasonable decisions given the available information and the world is rotating just fine without humans. These possibilities–angels, ghosts, aliens–are better than holocaust and genocide. In this way, and only in this way, does doom become endurable. The wound that never heals in the end is all you’ll feel.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015




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