I googled my name at 3 AM. I needed to remember something about me. Not any nonlucrative, Möbius-strip philosophical musings or emotional segment-arcs of intensity that waned before a day called itself, but more so a Memory Map of something I achieved that someone else wanted to archive, something searchable. Perhaps where a certain poem had been published, the exact name and spelling of the literary journal, then locate its print or virtual pages, “real” museum glass unless the magazine went under for monetary reasons or lack of energy on the Founding Editor’s part, a black and white newspaper photograph of a beauty queen waving on a float in the town’s annual parade in summer as if she were the Princess of Poetry, or let’s say Princess of Poetics, I like that.
It’s so odd to forget the well-intentioned, good things one has done, the oxymoronic “memorable” thing one forgets on some grand over-arching to-do list somewhere versus the shame-bloated, guilt-infused ill-behaviors often caused by—being in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time, developing disease in ground control of the brain’s neurological radar, illnesses in the corporeal plane that can just pull the wind out of the lungs and collapse everything worth holding onto, bizarre thought problems, thinking too much, clouded thinking because of the diaphanous Veil of Maya, not wanting to “go there,” confront the images, memory “clips,” voice clips, emotional upheaval—that clot up the filmography, montage, if you will, of someone’s life, someone like me.
One google search led to another and another, as is usually the case—an infinite series like galaxies broaching infinite rooms, each with a title, nomenclature stamp by yours truly, for Archives of the Future—Sanskrit Elegy; The American Abyss: Eulogy for The American Dream; The Ever-widening 21st-century Cyber Divide/Tectonic Shift (not to go all political); Chinese Boxes of Insurmountable Crayons (That Don’t Break) with Gorgeous Catalogue-like Names (so we want to own them); Science Fiction, Clinical Metamorphoses, and Parallel Film; The Ethics of Desired Super Powers, or Be Careful What You Wish For; Metaphysics for Dummies; Simulacra and Sanity; The Latest Poet to Die Way Too Early; Recipes for Happiness; Controlling Inflammation with Cognition, Lupus Morbidity; Don’t Feel Bad: No One Can Remember How to Spell These Words; The Socio-economic and Cultural Blunders of Spellcheck; The Varieties of Ornithological Habits and Communication; Why You Shouldn’t Put a Mirror in Your Canary’s Wrought Iron House, How to Build a Birdhouse from Nothing, Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Consume; What Your Dog or Cat is Trying to Tell You, Most Popular Cat Memes Ever Created for Getting Out of Bed, How to Properly Listen to the Rain, Why You Shouldn’t Eat Snow for Breakfast Before Finishing Your Coffee.
Did you know that our hearing is the last thing to go before death? (This may seem like a characteristic non sequitur, but The Woman Across the Street is Dying). That in Ancient Sanskrit Poetry, the world begins not with Logos, the power of fiat, but with Sound? And in scientific theory: before there were galaxies and stars, according to Wikipedia, of course (no one need go to the public library and pull out dusty card catalogues now or purchase a set of Encyclopedia Britannicas that will become obsolete within seconds), “sound waves shook the infant universe.” This explains why parents read fairy tales, sing lullabies, and play beautiful, not too depressing, arias to the fetus developing in the womb, why the baby knows the voice of her mother before her eyes find their focus on the children’s book of Van Goghs.
Ring around the rosie, the rosie, we all fall down. Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. Kindly bury me in a cardboard box that artists and poets adorn with their handi (and right brain) work, so I may fertilize the dark, looming maple tree next to my father’s underground mahogany coffin while my finger and toenails and long hair that defies color codification continue to grow with the hundred-year-old tree’s underground labyrinth/country of roots. I was expecting the calcium of my bones, like those of my father, to return to star. But this Fortuitous New Knowledge tells me, The Luminous Billboard Placard, if you will: I will be the sound of your voice, the gongs of an ancient gamelan in Indonesia, Church bell chimes on 3rd Street between Avenue A and B in the East Village of New York City, The Wind of the Himalayas, A New and Improved Desert Storm, The Notes of Orpheus’ Lyre Before the Gods Took It Away, The Chanting of Monks in Nepal, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Bach’s first Cello Suite, A Rap Song About Entropy. Listen carefully for me in this Time-Travel Future, won’t you?