New treatments made things worse

                                                an elegy

by Gail Wronsky

There were no baby elephant gods to be found in the philodendron.
She could've cared less. To her mind it was all non-immanent-there was
nothing to anticipate--it would go on as it had gone-always a subject,
always some selfhood stalking an object, killing it, dressing it up, consuming
it, all just sowing and reaping (not, as I sometimes like to say, stewing, weeping).
"A banal project," she called it, life. But she lit the votive candles to make
me happy, with closed eyelids, silently appreciating the privacy I sometimes
allowed her. I knew her well--had memorized, even, her arms, stained over
the years by the yellow-gray smoke of her chemical experiments. Often she
dreamed that tiny hands were patting her everywhere --tiny disembodied
hands were braiding her hair while she slept--tiny chubby angel-hands
were flying away with her soul. She rejected all of my attempts to translate these
images. "Isolate flecks" was a phrase she liked, from a William Carlos
Williams poem. She saw everything as an isolated fleck and hated the way
people were always trying to bring flecks together into coherent systems---
like me and my Ganesh project. We never found him, with his palliative phallic
trunk, rolling roundly and peacefully on my plant leaves the way I'd
asked for him to appear. I wish he had, just once. It would have been
something, in addition to death, she could not have finessed so easily into

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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