Reading The Blue Clerk, 148

“Verso 40.4”

A reflection, even that is implicated. I was thinking about the action words—verbs?—we use to name a relation to the past. I was thrown back. What is throwing? Who is being thrown? What does it feel like to be thrown? I was hurled back. Similar questions. I returned. I was returned. By what and by whom.  Small glimpses move us from the self we are becoming to the self we were becoming, from the relations we are in to the relations we were in.

it was the coal-coloured carrion bird I remembered from my childhood

We–I?—are moved to an elsewhen, a beforewhere, even as we are here:now. Perhaps we are always occupying these simultaneities of backthen:now-here:futurethen. And what hurls us back also hurls us forward. But the word is propels, not hurls. Doesn’t it feel like hurl sometimes?

To evolve this way.

I am stuck, I tell a friend. Stuckness. I want to stay with this this, I tell a friend. Stay. Between stuckness and stay. Or we say to sit with. But these are not the same things. To stay might not mean to sit with. It might mean to refuse an inevitable propulsion. I do not mean time “marches,” because I refuse the military metaphor. It might be that time slides past us. At time moving us. At times moving past us. And we are left behind. Remnant innovations.

This morning from my hotel window I saw a carrion bird eating something on a rooftop.

Our hands were scars and tears.In primary school, kites—we called them hawks—would swoop down and snatch food from our careless hands. Our hands were scars and tears. They taught us to hold our food carefully, closer to our bodies, closer to our mouths. What tax were they demanding for what we occupied?

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