Braised Tendon II
Slanting into agitation because that’s where I need to be.
Knocking out bricks of casual chores as long as
I keep my teeth set. Even phone calls about money
can be borne with an absent mind. I only fear
reading the letters too much. Already that video has
replaced my memory of riding the BART to Oakland
with you. This time he’s not afraid of me, of what I can
do without permission. Because I believe the work,
I give my labor. Read, write, run, decide with attention,
speak from an expansive center I don’t have when I’m alone.
Something delicious, exhausting. I help myself to a paper bowl
full of slowcooked tendon and leaves. Eating what you catch
dwells in another sphere, lets you know yourself anew.
Constructed with words from Kimberly Alidio, Ching-In Chen, Pia Cortez, Llasa de Sela (via Ching-In), and Italo Calvino (via Jai).
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From an episode of This American Life about Superpowers:
John Hodgman So who chooses invisibility and who chooses flight? In my experience, though there are lots of exceptions, men lean towards flying, women to invisibility. And many brood anxiously over their choice, switching from one to the other and back again. And that’s because, more than the ability, say, to burst into flame or shoot arrows with uncanny accuracy, flight and invisibility touch a nerve. Actually, they touch two different nerves, speak to very different primal desires and unconscious fears.
My friend Christine chose invisibility.
Christine One superpower is about something that’s obvious, and the other is about something that is hidden. I think it indicates your level of shame.
John Hodgman How do you mean?
Christine A person who chooses to fly has nothing to hide. A person who chooses to be invisible wants clearly to hide themselves.
John Hodgman Do you feel that you want to hide yourself?
Christine I want to— I’d like to not— I’m not going to answer that question.
Woman 3 It all has to do with guile. Wanting to be invisible means that you’re a more guileful person. If you want to fly, it means you’re guileless. And I think the reason that I’m so conflicted about flying versus invisibility is that I have guile, but I really wish that I didn’t.
John Hodgman Flight is the hero— selfless and confident and unashamed. And invisibility, the villain. Almost everyone I talked to called invisibility the sneakier power.
Man 8 Flying is for people who want to let it all hang out. Invisibility is for fearful, crouching masturbators.
Woman 1 First of all, I think that a lot of people are going to tell you that they would choose flight, and I think they’re lying to you. I think they’re saying that because they’re trying to sound all mythic and heroic, because the better angels of our nature would tell us that the real thing that we should strive for is flight, and that that’s noble and all that kind of stuff.
But I think actually, if everybody were being perfectly honest with you, they would tell you the truth, which is that they all want to be invisible so that they can shoplift, get into movies for free, go to exotic places on airplanes without paying for airline tickets, and watch celebrities have sex.
Kimberly Alidio: “I got visually drunk and my eyes haven’t settled back yet.” — Peter Lanyon, quoted in “Looking at people looking at Rothko”
I dreamed my mother collapsed inside of me
and nothing else was true.
I was still and I cupped my heart’s stream
into my heart’s mouth and
I could do nothing.
This is to say I was a child.
- from Sarah Gambito’s “Sonogram”
And here I am
twenty-some years on my shoulders
length and rhythm of my days predetermined
—tamed and clinging to time.
(Self-Portrait by Daisy Zamora)
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