To Observe Without Being Observed


“What will I live on?” Hassie asks herself again and again, “No way I can come up with the dead presidents.” “Always travel to the source,” says a voice from within. “If you want to find new cures,” she hears, “study Traditional Chinese Medicine.” Brilliant & attractive, dizzy with shyness, everybody else at the opening seems to be floating on mute. She lies down for a moment, in the middle of the gallery, people milling about above her. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Etta James––they cool her down when it seems her heart will burst from its cage of bone. The circus is in town. Later the same evening––among the hatchet-throwers, human blow-torches, giant gorillas & the ringmistress Ms. Charlie looking like a woman you’ve seen only in flashbacks: lace-back tailcoat, red bustier, epaulettes, knickers, fingerless glove-sleeves, top-hat––she regains her composure with this little jnana mantra, “Heal thyself with art.”



[Published in The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition.

© 2016 by Jim Cohn.]




The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition
(MAP Publications, 2016)