Cognitive Deficit Market
By Joshua Corey
She has forgotten what she forgot
this morning: her keys, toast in the toaster blackening
the insides of beloved skulls, little planetariums
projecting increasingly incomplete
and fanciful constellations: the Gravid
Ass, the Mesozoic Cartwheel, the Big
Goatee, the Littlest Fascist. Outside her window
a crowd gathers, seething in white confusion
like milk boiling dry in a saucepan—some
lift fingers to point this way and that
with herky-jerky certainty but
they're standing too close for all
those flying hands so that eyeglasses and hats
fall—apologies inaudible, someone hands
a fist, the brawl overwhelms the meager traffic
of pedicabs and delivery trucks stacked high
with rotting lettuce. Meanwhile above it all
she's setting out the tea things: ceramic cup and saucer,
little pewter spoon, pebbled iron pot, a slice
of Sara Lee. Waiting to remember
to turn the radio on, listen for the elevator, for
the lock to turn or a knock
on the door. In a little while she'll put everything
away in the same configuration
at the bottom of a clean white sink
with its faucet dripping.
We who watch this, half-turned away already
toward sunny gardens or the oncoming semi—
being not the one dead but not exactly alive either.
The skin is a glove that wrinkles as it tightens.
The cerebellum's the same. A game
of chess between walking sticks—I mean the insects
made up to resemble wood. I say we dissemble
from photos and repetition
our stakes in these weightless names.
I had a lovely day until I developed a weather-related migraine in the early evening that I think will require the serious drugs as opposed to Advil. I had lots of laundry to fold -- since Adam has been running, he produces twice as much as anyone else, and since he went to bed after me last night and got up before me this morning and I don't know how he's functioning on so little sleep, I can't ask him to do his own -- so I put on Tamara Drewe, mostly because Stephen Frears directed it. I knew it was loosely based on Thomas Hardy but I didn't realize that it came from a graphic novel, nor that it was nominally a comedy. The acting is good and Dorset looks lovely, but the storyline is strange, and a lot of the characters are really hard to like and the film is pretty mean-spirited about them. It's definitely not in my Frears Top Five.
After lunch I drove up to Kentlands because there's a wonderful inexpensive bead store as well as a Michael's and other places that are fun to browse in. It was a pretty day to be out walking around. Adam got home quite late because his school's first official cross country competition was this afternoon -- he finished in the top half of competitors and considering that he's only been running seriously for a few months, I think it's very impressive. (Daniel apparently went to fencing after his classes, which he hasn't done since middle school, so I am hoping he will stick with that as he used to like it a lot.) We had veggie chili for dinner as an early Mexican Independence Day celebration, then watched The Talented Mr. Ripley because I was, oddly enough, in the mood for it (Damon and Law's performances are both absolutely brilliant).
Here are some of the birds at Boonesborough Days last weekend, brought by the rehabilitation and education group Raptors Up Close: