Micro Essays

  • Closing my eyes I have three visions: Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” the nose of a lion, and the Daibutsu in Kamakura.
  • We need to take it off in slices,” she says about a small basal cell carcinoma. Glad they did not say that about the vasectomy.

  • Not long after sunrise the yellow jackets and flies are digging into the grey mouse that must have been dropped by the local tabby that hunts our driveway in the mornings. I suspect the recycling truck startled the cat and it left its kill which the buzzing feeders are now gorging upon. A yellow jacket bores into the base of the neck and I walk away…
  • A fence post hole really, that’s what they dug. A twenty inch diameter cylinder of space going about forty inches deep. Then we lower your ashes down in and place flowers around you before the very nice woman comes over with a wheel-barrel and shovels the dirt in. She tries to be respectful but she is tossing dirt on you; it’s a tough gig.
  • Can the current world religions encompass the scope of the post-human world? If during the Anthropocene we become extinct, and rather than have evolution proceed from a human base it proceeds from a never-been-human base, will the current human-centric religions still hold? I think the Buddhist vision holds as long as there are sentient beings somewhere, even in far distant galaxies.
  • There is a comfort in listening to Janis Joplin sing “Cry Baby.” Well, I should say that there is a comfort in watching her sing it on youtube. It is cathartic. All the energy she had was the energy it took to exist. For her to exist and for you to exist as your lives were ever difficult. For me the only difficulty was watching you fall into that hole that you never found your way out of. There is a comfort in watching her sing, like the comfort of a phantom pain.
  • There is a right way and a wrong way to make cabbage and lentils. The wrong way is to chop the vegetables and cook them in garlic, turmeric, paprika, and olive oil for a bit and then add the lentils and broth. The right way is to do the wrong way with a shot and a beer, while listening to Jimi.
  • Water flows from the street to the house in a controlled fashion for decades, traversing the twenty five feet to the  water meter. Control is tubular, control is galvanized steel.

small stream in spring

feeds the growing pond in the basement

  • “Have to go to the ER. Can you come feed Jack my dog?” my friend Carol asks. “Of course, on my way.” Driving back from feeding and walking Jack, the sun peeks through clouds and horizon as the sky darkens. In my head I hear:
    • Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog
      Said, “I will fix your rag, if you’ll take Jack, my dog”
      I said, “Wait a minute Chester, you know, I’m a peaceful man”
      He said, “That’s okay, boy, won’t you feed him when you can”
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