Friday, January 22, 2010


With my middlers today, we were creating "perfect" paragraphs. Mine:

Veruso Illusions on Zewana

I have no place to go. Every place I’ve looked seems old, done, dried out. If you look across the room of this world of mine, the trees seem to tremble. There is a chasm—an unfathomable chasm—in my brain. Call it my soul. Call it your soul, if you buy the notion that we are all one. What a notion that is, eh? The thing is, I’m not sure that I buy it myself. Do your trees tremble? Do you even have trees? Perhaps when you look across the room of that world of yours, what you see is a wallpaper from the 70s—Andromeda in non-woven black and white, washable, flame resistant (thank God for that), and palpable. Product number 410112. Or, if not Andromeda, then perhaps Sampati, Elektra, or even Medusa. Perhaps your hand touches the furry textures and you are immediately transported to fourteen-foot walls in a hotel room in Bordeaux or Nice, or instead the clammy suburban walls of Luby’s Cafeteria on Loop 410, just down the street from Exotic Meats. Does knowing that Exotic Meats is just blocks away from the texture beneath your fingers make you feel any less sure of yourself, or does it bring the kind of epiphany you were hoping you’d find at the end of the movie “(500) Days of Summer”? Were you amused that Summer turns to Autumn, or did you think that, happy though you may have been for Tom, that was just one very cheesy bit of plotting? Okay, I’ll admit it: I was amused, and yes, it was a very cheesy bit of plotting, but furthermore, it was just the kind of thing we’re all looking for, hoping for, and praying for—the moment in our lives when we’re both curdled by the cheese on our plates and damned glad to find it there. It’s the kind of cheese that will fill a chasm, sew soul to soul, and maybe—if you squint yourself out of your pre-nuptial myopia—be just the cheese to turn tree to Sampati, and in so doing, bring your Product Number round to the perfect one.



Blogger Teresa said...

Wow! With your Middles, no less. You teach the gifted/talented club? I liked it, cheese and all. And the green picture at the top is marvelous and eye-refreshing.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

I love cheese, cheddar, cream, cottage, any kind and I love chasms being filled and souls being sewn together - even if we get a little too close to the sun and singe our wings.
a benediction

9:57 PM  
Anonymous missalister said...

I like this, P, like how it starts, with no place to go and then it warms up to going, with questioning, mystical questioning. It doesn’t sound like your Usual Self until I see by 410112 that US is there, off a way, more tapping the shoulder of your subconscious to add this and that, please, and could you just… I dig the trip abroad but not as much as knowing by touching that Exotic Meats is just down the street. And then I find I can haz cheez on my iguana or guinea, and I’m damned glad to be here reading this perfect paragraph : )

9:18 AM  
Blogger Tammie Lee said...

and I sir am amused by this "perfect" paragraph.

8:37 PM  
Blogger anno said...

I like the way you begin with chasm, but by the end, all is knit together in wonderful connections, and all thankfully easier on the eyes than the old Veruso Illusions. The reference to (500) Days of Summer made me swoon, a cheesy, perfect, perfectly cheesy ending, but the Naomi Shihab Nye tag brought me to my knees. Perfeito!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Devil Mood said...

Yes, it may be cheese but most people love cheese. I know I do! The truth is 'cheese' is true to ourselves and we can't help but appreciate truth when we see it.

And the title of your perfect paragraph had the power to make me go: huh? and read it again to make sure I was in the right place.

11:46 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: More than the GT's, I'd simply call them the Big Pasture Folk: lots of pasture to run fast and free.

8:44 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: You are one fromaging, soulful sister. It's all too queso-ful...

8:46 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms A, you got the process exactly, just how it flowed, from trickle in the mountain springs, on to a faster ride down the side. It was fun to let it run, keeping the reins in just enough to keep it all, roughly speaking, paragraphical.

8:50 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Anno: So good to have you drop in from Veruso! You know that wallpaper? Or does that wallpaper know you? Great movie: I had just watched it with my senior math class: you know, lessons in tracking and sequencing, blahdeeblah...Naomi, of course, is our local crowned princess of poetry, but she is also the CP of the seasonal clothing swaps: with every season, fabulous clothing changes hands: Tina is part of that tribe.

8:55 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

DM, if you are here, you are in the right place, radiant cheesemonger that you are.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

You do know that in Taiwan the cow pasture class is the class of kids who have no hope of getting into college, right? So the teachers just let them talk all day and have fun. Your students seem to have to learn something as they have fun...

11:32 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: Interesting collision of pedagogical metaphors. The cow pasture probably describes my kids' teacher, more than it does them.

5:58 AM  

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