On the Holding of Spaces for Essaying Into

By , , , and | 31 October 2021

This morning I wake to our cat pleading from outside the bedroom door. I say ‘our cat’,
though really she’s her own person. Anyway, she’s vocalising in a particular register that she
only uses when hungry. Really hungry. And a bit lonely. I ignore her for a while, then the sun
streams in, and I stagger into the kitchen, open the large white magic box only the animals
with thumbs can open and drop a spoon of meat onto her bowl.

I go back to bed, and in a few minutes the weight of the cat is on me, purring. There are other weights, amorphous and cumbersome, but inside my body. I can’t stop thinking of that photo. A cargo plane, thousands packed into a space designed for hundreds – a blur of bodies, the imagined smell of panic. A United States aircraft, Kabul airport, 17 August 2021. Others, many others, are outside this plane, left behind.

I am teaching a creative writing class on classical mythology, and as we are talking, in our minds and in the spaces in our conversation, the scene appears – again, Daphne is fleeing from Apollo. He wants to possess her. All she wants is to take care of the river. He doesn’t take no for an answer. She is desperate, determined. The only way to elude him is to be transformed into a laurel tree. She loses her voice, her ability to be mobile, but she is part of the earth now, human and non-human.

Still, Apollo wants. He tears leaves from her, wears them as a crown, calls it honourable.

In another class, poetry this time, a student gives her presentation on Audre Lorde. ‘Poetry is not a luxury. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought’. I want to believe this, want her words to climb onto my body like an entitled cat, calm and resolute.

I remember the two words that precede this quote. ‘For women …’

*whale song

Fuck that Scomo scum! Everytime I see him, hear him, I feel the world shaking with
disgust! What a cold blubber of a leader.

A leader is a funny medieval construct. Why not have a few, standing together. They should
open each address to the public with a nude parade … so we can really see them, fleshy with
their bank accounts laid bare. Preparing our pallets for the things we don’t have to

But this old sod, passive fear, gummy mouthed grinner, faul toff, fake worker with a
contempt for anything that will disrupt the usual order of the bore.

Christian man pffffftttt … if jesus were around today he we would be a refugee! Prosperity gospels be damned – preying on the vulnerable so that crack pot preachers can pray/prey on private jets. I’ll speak in tongues you stinky money guts ‘coubali markili castrini
ooopcac ya la be gone with you.’

*bagpipes in a sock

This entry was posted in ESSAYS and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work:

Comments are closed.