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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Night Sun: Black Jaguar (II)


File:Melanistic panthera onca.jpg

Melanistic Jaguar (Panthera onca), Belize: photo by Belizian, 2004

Election night on the street of bitter aloes, 1:30 a.m., funereal silence under the Safeway arcade, portico to the mothership of the champions of the world. Closed for business at this hour, thus a place of temporary rest for a young black man with his life-gear in a shopping cart and for me. We talked about civics, the Greek way of argument. Having tuned in to the maniacs and the morons of the talkradio airwaves, shouting and interrupting each other, the airwaves brimming over with teaparty triumphalism, I suggested things have devolved beyond the sort of political argument the Greeks would have understood. True that, he said, but we've still got the Constitution. The Greeks didn't have that. We discussed the victory of the San Francisco ordinance banning sitting or lying upon the public pavements. That doesn't leave one many options, I suggested. True that, he said. But it will be overturned. We've still got the Constitution.

We sat in silence a while, watching the occasional car leak past on the moribund debris-littered Avenue.
Looking down at our hands. It was then I noticed we were both wearing black Harbinger handball gloves, the kind with the fingers cut-out. The fingers crawl out of the gloves as if struggling to breathe. The fingers seemed to be waiting. Then there was movement off to the edge of the scene, beyond the sheltering arcade, near the trash and recycling bins, where a black cat was apprehensively scavenging for food. You see that? he said. Cats are survivors. They will find food anywhere. They took a lot of cats and just dumped them in the middle of the Australian outback. I read this article. The cats did okay, they didn't starve. Of course there are some pretty bad snakes and big spiders out there, so it would not be easy. As we watched, the black cat paused from its trash-picking, tensing, alert. A small dark shape scurried out from under the trash bins. The cat sprang off in pursuit. Plenty of rats, too, I bet, he said.

There is a sun inside every living creature, a night sun that burns on in the heart of the black jaguar. We've still got the night.


Safeway supermarket advertisement, 1950s: photo by Decimal10, 2006


Church Street, San Francisco: homeless person resting in front of dilapidated building on an otherwise upscale street, while one of several passersby takes notice: photo by Christopher Beland, 2005


TC said...

Black cats have crossed our path before:

Night Sun: Black Jaguar

Ezra Pound: The black panther lies under his rose-tree

Momentary Visitor



"Black Jaguar" set in orange, "silence under the Safeway arcade, portico to the mothership of the [orange and black] champions of the world. . . .


light coming into sky above black plane
of ridge, white curve of moon by branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

return to the left somewhat
to the left, focus on

place concealed in its look,
in which it is, being

silver line of sun reflected in channel,
whiteness of gull flapping to the right

TC said...

It's a hard world. By next year this time, that could be Cody Ross lying on the sidewalk.

To go from Most Unwanted to Breakfast of Champions in a few short months...

The world is a dream.

(I wish.)

doowman said...

My wife wonders, "Why are you laughing SO hard?"

In spite of all, Uncle Tom (sorry TC) keeps a tab on what keeps us strong.

Sad today for all fans to hear Sparky Anderson in hospice for dementia. He actually brought light and love for the community in Detroit and helped way beyond his responsible obligation.

We may still hate the BRM, but it was wonderful to have my 3 young children enjoy what endures to this day about the game some of us still cherish.

TC said...


That's sad about Sparky.

No, wait -- old guys becoming demented, don't ever believe it. He's just in for a nap.

(Soooo...What was it that we were talking about?)

A bit of Sparkyese, for old time's sake:

Sparky the classicist: "That Jose Canseco, he's built like a regular Greek goddess."

Sparky on romance: "If I ever find a pitcher who has heat, a good curve, and a slider, I might seriously consider marrying him."

Sparky on accepting reality: "No manager can make goose-liver paté out of goose feathers, so why worry?"

Sparky on digesting the suits: "If I hear Bowie Kuhn say just once more he's doing something for the betterment of baseball, I'm going to throw up."

Sparky on his academic record: "I only had a high school education and believe me, I had to cheat to get that."

Sparky on fashion: "Me carrying a briefcase is like a hot dog wearing earrings."



Ah yes, Cody! And Edgar, and Juan and Pat the Bat, and lest we forget those who pitched the team to such high places (TL, MC, JS, MB, BW -- nor shall we forget BZ on his way to somewhere). Such bon mots from Sparky!