Debit Night

from Can You Hear, Bird (1995)

        We were coming down from the city the city is where you come when you don’t want to listen or
	be excused from listening.  It is a hard hat out and some days “stiletto” heels—but who told you
	about hat we don’t know about hat too much or about how “hat” grows.  Coming down we
	passed through a former violet producing center.  Around World War I there were maybe a
	hundred violet farms in this region of New York state conducive to violets.  It is a very labor
	intensive thing now there are no longer any except one or two.  Up until the end of World War II
	it was the fashion for ladies to wear bunches of violets but then it changed.  Now no one had any
	use for them.  Now everyone likes violets I don’t see.  Yes but you don’t see anybody wearing
	them or buying any.  Some even think of them as weeds.  Nevertheless the former violet business
	has left its trace in place-names here such as Violet Lane and Violet Hill.  They are beautiful
	aren’t they until you stop to think that violets could be weeds and of a reason why nobody buys
	them anymore.  Yes but I will still think the
        A sandbox sometimes had weeds growing in it including one that looked like a dandelion only it
	was tall and thrifty.  Always was the sand more beautiful after the rain when there was a dried
	wet crust on top with pebblelike pores starring its surface.  But mostly it was out of sight.  There
	was not a window of the house where it wasn’t around the corner so naturally it is seen less and
	thus gets worn into the mind like a crease in a road map that has been folded up the wrong way
	too many times.
        Jana prefers the city.  Says there’s more light in it, or the light gets divided up by the streets more
	so a little goes a long way.  Light is something that should not be wasted so as to produce its
	maximum effect as it is even on some boulevards where it stretches out too much, too wide and
	too long into the future.  This is true but in the country it gets more soaked up in the bushes and
	buildings so a little more is always required and a little more is all there is.  In the city you can
	eavesdrop on brick walls and this is called “repointing.”  What comes up in the inevitable
	ensuing conversation is sure funny but doesn’t look ahead to the future of philosophy or decide
	how life should ultimately be lived.  There is no conversation even about self-serious things like
	theater.  Instead everybody makes a unique little mess like a child shitting in its pants that’s
	proud of it.  The auto horns scare everything near away anyhow.  The place pivots; this has
	already been patented.  You can go down to sleep by the river or in a movie.  See that boat?  It’s
        So after we had done the chores and brought back living to the house there was something on its
	mind like a ball of yarn.  Yes,  a ball of yarn is what is there as I wanted to say.  Say, stay
	anyway will you?  I might.  I’ve got things to do.  Yes, but this is one of them.  That’s true.  But I
	still have things to do I might go.  Oh no you’re not.  Oh no?  Okay then I really will stay
	because I want to really.  Really she said?  Then I will show you this dried crust of bread which
	is the truth, you must never forget it.  Oh I never will I said it’s what I wanted all along.  How
	many acres do you want?  Oh I never sought them they always came to me until quite recently. 
	Indeed?  Well here comes another one it’s green or black.  It must be yours she said.  You played
	the mandrake right.  Yes well here comes another and a whole lot of them.  By George she said
	we should have been ready for them, but that’s the way
        it is you can’t be and you are.  Think of World war I, it’s green and black and surely there was
	less daylight around then, more fog and boats on the East River with people lining up to go on
	them.  Yes it was a premonition of these our times she said and so I conjure you, don’t go around
	telling what you know to people, you are likely to get it back.  Then peace, of a sort?  The high-
	minded sun combs the tallest man-made structures on earth and then you get a little peace and
	some darkness down in the lobbies where everything begins to happen.  No one in his handsome
	and enduring stable.  Just having to endure is like going for the jugular but it should be
	caravanserai.  The problem is to get over what is being endured but hasn’t been and to make for
	the middle distance, after the teacups and primulas but before philosophy and “last things,”
	where thighs shine astride dim neighboring curbs and strangers greet you convulsively.  These
	are more last things, I think, to think about
        all along along what I wanted all along