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,
of a primitive one-cell animal,
I compare our brains to:
We are not outdoors, no
But we are not quite inside
—because of the windows—
Tho should it rain
we are entirely inside, & glad
( In fact, it won't rain.
another fact—the fan is on 'too hard'
—but half an hour, what is
a lunch hour, that one can afford
unless one does it right away?
Take The Guardian, a newspaper :
open it—& you are transported,
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
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 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.
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
at The 'Syrup & Muffin' Diner? He settles down.
return to the jars in front of her.
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.