Friday, July 08, 2011

Freedom From The Wild/Lost In Metonymy

This parking lot bird
watches cars and trucks drive past
and it watches me

adjust my zoom lens
trying to take a picture
of the wilderness

in the parking lot
as if taking a picture
could make me wild, too.

I’m not wild. I’ve known people who are wild
and I’m not and I don’t want to be wild.

When I take pictures in a parking lot
I can see beauty in things that are wild
but hearing the phrase, “She’s a pussy cat”
still makes me shiver. People aren’t wild
and when people become wild they’re more wild
than shore birds running around on asphalt
or flowers growing up through cracks in asphalt.

People don’t photograph well when they’re wild.

And those are pictures I would never take.

Wild things, real wild things, can be beautiful.

But when people go wild they are monsters.

And not the kind expeditions hunt for.

In the novel “Shibumi” the hero
doesn’t attempt to find a companion
in the wreckage of our modern culture.
He travels to Asia and purchases
a concubine, educated, cultured,
raised by an old world organization
that doesn’t attempt to mass-market goods
but just provides services to select
clients the organization decides
will provide their products with proper care.

I could never do whatever that is.
It isn’t wild but whatever it is
frightens me almost as much as the wild.

Mackinnon and Saunders makes beautiful
little plastic dolls and I have sometimes
thought of asking Mackinnon and Saunders
to create an articulated doll
for me that could, for instance, play the flute.

But I don’t think I could even do that.

I no longer remember exactly
how I first met the little plastic doll
I sometimes make stop-motion movies with.

It wasn’t wild and it wasn’t commerce.

It was something I don’t have a name for
but it’s metonymy I think about
and someday I believe I’ll work it out.

There's something here. Lost in metonymy.

It’s what freedom from the wild is about.

No comments: