mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Two Impossible Things

There are two things that regularly happen to me that can't possibly. I've learned not to think about them but I still get antsy when they do.

One is that I catch on things. If I tried to get the side strap of my backpack around the front door's knob, do you think I could? If I tried to get my bicycle's seat caught in my coat pocket when I'm walking the bike down the steps, would it be possible? No, of course not. But it happens all the time.

The other is that the text of books changes on me. It happens so often that I wrote a story about it once. I try to persuade myself that it's just me remembering incorrectly what book the thing I'm looking for is in. In the one case where I finally found the missing text, that's what happened. The story of a wastrel son that I remembered being in Tales from a Ming Collection was actually in An Anthology of Chinese Literature. I've never succeeded in finding the story of the girl who elopes but leaves herself at home, that I remember being in the same Tales.

And now feliciter mentions a poem and I go, oh yeah, that one, where the king decides his deposed rival has been entertaining subversive agents because he talks about the east wind visiting him at night, how could I forget that? It's in Poems of the Masters, I remember reading it four years ago in winter in my bedroom one evening, because someone gave it to me for Christmas.

Well, I read it four years ago but it's not in Poems of the Masters. I've been all through it- English text and Chinese text and no it's not there. But I don't have any other anthology with facing page text and translation and notes. Particularly the notes, because the notes are what I remember.

I hate these black water moments-
the impossible seeping into the possible- I really really do.
Tags: chinese, rl, verse
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