Friday, July 7, 2017


The occluded and the occult

Believe it or leave it

Unidentified Animal
Top Story

last Monday in June and I was sitting in the area of a white carved stone fountain in lakeside Park garden in Oakland. I had smoked on arriving and now sat quietly absorbing the world for quite a spell. When you sit quietly a long while in a green place very gradually the natural world resumes what it was doing before you came and unfolds in front of you.
An animal vaulted the fence of the Bonzai garden landing silently on the footpath. He saw me and paused caught momentarily off-guard. And what was my nature--possibly hostile or over-involved?
My first thought that it was sort of a raccoon but it was tawny in color not gray at all.  It was slimmer and had a tight coat and longer arms as we looked for a brief instance into each others eyes, the eyes of the other.
It had an intelligent alert face like a meercat, but seemed by its limbs to be some sort of primate, a lemur perhaps. But how was it here? there is a zoo in Oakland and many greenswards between it and this location and there are many known collectors of exotic pets. Could it have escaped and found refuge here? Like all worthy and interesting mysteries it remained unsolved.
The animal veered off with some alacrity disappearing in the direction of the Palmatarium.

Traffic Menace

Loud bang that shakes the foundation of my building so I  feel an impact. Pigeons fly up and circle. A car hit a stationary object in the intersection of Washington and 7th Street. I can't see the aftermath; rooves are in the way. I see instead a young Chinese guy run from the event and into the nearby police headquarters. He comes out again and returns to his car to await emergency vehicles. The pigeons are still air-borne. Minutes later the sirnes arrive. I was preparing to take a nap and proceeded to do so. Ninety minutes later when I awake one emergency medical vehicle is still there.
Chinese drivers were notably distracted before the smart phone juggernaut.

Watch your step.

Local Obeah Man

Oddest of all is the unexplained very black old man, carved from ebony with a soap suds beard who haunts the same intersection, patrolling the grounds of the courthouse and police station. He often faces North which is the same direction where I am located, but as I know myself from standing where he does, what one sees is a particular view of the Downtown skyline. He stands motionless with his arms elevated for long periods as if in address to the skyline, whether in worship or in rebuke. It's his idiosyncratic voodoo yoga.
He frequently is seen holding a small object up in front of his eyes like it was a tiny camera, then elevating over his head as if seeking a higher camera angle,
Capturing the hard to conceive of city.
He's very thin and never seen eating, perhaps he finds sustenance in the various foodstuffs that are  left in the vicinity for the hungry and the unfortunate.
Sometimes I hear a repeated staccato shout that I think might be him chanting.
If I mimic it out of slight annoyance it tends to stop.
The police, the judges and the courthouse lawyers are apparently tolerant of him, to the extent that they entirely ignore him. I have spoke a few words to him to let him know I include him in the family of man, he's there when I retrieve newspapers from vending boxes.
He's there when I look out at dusk and I hear him chanting, to clamor for attention or to express something so long lost that it can no longer be called inchoate.

Haiku Corner

Independence Day

One lonely planet
post sunset clouds and the moon
my fourth of July

Watch remote fireworks
on the cops' flat-screen TV
symphony broadcast

Rock-steady backbeat
a current of explosions
floods near and afar

Paranoid Thought

A voodoo seamstress
has a pin cushion
in the shape
of my ass

July 2017

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