"I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth—and truth rewarded me."
—Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
I'm at my typewriter, elbows floating midair. I type up the poem I wrote longhand, as I do all of them, in a soundless tunnel. I used to wish that all of my genres progressed this way, from fountain pen to typewriter ink to Google Doc. But that's not realistic. I understand the midwifery of poems, which arrive violently like parturition.
I am working constantly to drop natural resistance in other areas of life, as the poem does the guard. I will do it.
It takes me two evenings to finish the poem. I deliver the information.
"Where's the information?" That's Kendall Roy's first remark after grasping that his father has died. Not "passed away" but really dead, out cold, cadaverous on his PJ (everyone knows that only plebes call it a private jet).
Later, a surprise delivery of ambiguous information. ("Kendall Logan Roy," crossed out or underlined? Crossed out or underlined??)
I love you but I can't forgive you
[or / alternative]
I forgive you but I don't love you.
As someone obsessed with the limits of knowing, how could I not melt into kajillionaire Kendall's caustic koan. Where, indeed, is the information?
I like the narrow character development of this show, the way the Roy's family traumas (scored somewhere between national anthem and Dickensian penny opera) never really progress but get set off like internally diffused bombs. The show frames its drama like someone stepping on a land mine in slow motion. The rapid-fire decorous insults, or "dialogue" if you like, are deliciously divorced from reality, and I enjoy them almost as much as the non-progressive tension of a novel whose characters are so internally out of sync with their outward presentation that you could only ever really grasp them as characters, which makes their aggrieved pathos even more emotionally fraught. Kids fighting like hell for daddy to see them is an old psychodrama, but when the family scion influences the global management of infotainment, the information surpasses the C-suite and amasses the cry-wail of an injured hound.
Aside from re-reading John Berryman's The Dream Songs, which I do or think about doing every day, I'm also reading Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's The Tibetan Yogas of Dream & Sleep: Practices for Awakening at the recommendation of an artist friend. The book asserts the dynamic and fluid process of dreams, and offers some unexpected protocols for approaching one's waking life as though it were an awakened dream. The author distilled this knowledge with utmost care, and reading it feels a little surreal, like someone making a bowl of lemonade with an epic poem.
The book has taken on an importance in my life since I had two wildly unexpected lucid dreams since picking it up, the first time that's happened to me since I was a child, but that fact alone sells it short because of the volume's startling emotional depth and erudite diction. "I think it's changed my life!" I tell anyone and everyone to whom I disclose my recent sleep deficit.
When I awake, it is surreal watching my old neighborhood in Paris be engulfed in garbage and refuse following the workers' strikes, and feels more rare still to view the moral desuetude of capitalism on full stinky televisual display. I can't find coverage of the strikes in the U.S. press.
I follow a Reddit thread in which more than 3,000 people argue why the United States never follows suit, that despite staggering income inequality, widespread health disenfranchisement, rapidly declining education standards, and the worst maternity death rates in the industrialized world (current status: #55), there will be no American garbage uprising.
"The French government is afraid of and works for the French populace. Americans are afraid of their government and with good reason. They don't even pretend to work for us. They serve their donors and only their donors which are corporations and the .01%. The ruling class has spent 40 years and billions of dollars making sure we are uneducated, docile, and easily swayed by propaganda. That is why the French riot while Americans fight over drag shows and an indicted orange ex game show host." [User: Redvex320]
Later that evening, misery in full newyorkian view. On the platform of the 4 train, a bloody nose, open alcohol bottles, someone screaming into their own reflection. It plows the heart how little the amassed wealth of this nation is distributed among those it entrusts in nationhood.
Like false promises, April's winter is our false spring. Over "there" a third world war, over "here" gun country, and in the clouded mist of cognitive dissonance isn't it funny, I text a friend, that we make witty comments about the weather and wonder if we got a car ticket and laugh at the meme and listlessly cross something off our list, or otherwise lull the astonishing horror of the night's silence.
We feel far away from us. The train door clanks open and people enter with necks craned down. They're playing Sudoku, they're Venmo-ing. They're ping ponging or click clacking, titty shaking or cuck cucking, picnicking or lint-picking. Or are they reading the news, whose worst scenes can be told in some feeble words but never in publishable photographs, and whose headlines I can't bear to see but from which I can't look away.