Fan (c) 2005 Stan Crocker
 

 

Music by Paul A. Toth
 
To Generalize

by Ken Bolton

 

 

We sit at a table in The Baci,
an indoor table—
with a view of the tables outside, that may act
as a springboard,
the false limb,
or 'pseudopod',
of a primitive one-cell animal,
which
—tho to
what end—
I compare our brains to:

We are not outdoors, no
But we are not quite inside
either
—because of the windows—
Tho should it rain
we are entirely inside, & glad
of it.
( In fact, it won't rain.
And—
another fact—the fan is on 'too hard'

—but half an hour, what is
a lunch hour, that one can afford
to move,
or complain,

unless one does it right away?

Yep?

Right? )

Take The Guardian, a newspaper :
open it—& you are transported,
far away.
I sit, 'literally', in The Baci, the
literal one—others sit, or sit metaphorically,
as you do, Reader,
at metaphorical Bacis & think away too, aware,
as I am—for I 'generalize'
of the larger world, the larger tides

& patterns that
pass through it,

& of their smallness
& the incidental nature

of their own lives
in relation to these tides,

even of the
invigoratingly

'human dimension'
this knowledge lends

—& its practical inutility.
You look outside, at the beautiful, slightly glaring light
that lands on Cacas' Chemists—& lands, too,
on whatever you're looking at—& consider the traffic,
the passersby,
the scope of the disasters in Africa—which is almost
Medieval—though modern because man-made—
& the scandals in the City—which are Hogarthian,
English, & 18th century, though modern, too—
& your own problems, which are contingent &
practical—how to rob a bank,
(whether to move from that fan) whether
to get another coffee—which you need
if it is metaphorical & this stuff
brings you down.

If it is not metaphorical
but a real one, you must have
a whole hour for your lunch hour—
mine has 30 minutes.

2

Now, did you take your newspaper? No?
Take mine, the Guardian. It is an eye,
a balloon on which you float, "Eighty Days" style,
around the world, never really touching down,
and also, of course, like a limb. You pick it up,
hit something with it,
perhaps a fly. And the world
is that li'l bit littler.
Or it is a steady state.
There are people bashing flies
all over the world—Hong Kong Herald here,
Bombay Tribune there, The Lima Truth, Montreal's
famous Examiner—killing perhaps the only fly
in that part of Canada—or did it get away. Who knows? The
waitress looks up—
what is that guy
swatting at,
at The 'Syrup & Muffin' Diner? He settles down.
Her eyes
return to the jars in front of her.

Your eye
takes in the window
& the scene outside—cars, pedestrians, Cacas the Chemist
& is 'drawn' outside, & with it you
(with the assent of your brain—which in truth
according to some theories, is
an outgrowth, a sophistication, a development
of that optical organ) are drawn outside also.
You arrive together, your eye delighted,
your brain keeping up, & your 'self' rounding out their number,
invigorating to be up & doing—up &
'going', unfortunately, back to work—
in five more minutes.


 
Nut-Head Productions