Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chiasmus Tree

He, Odif of the Far North, drove out to the cut down your own Christmas tree farm. A man in overalls handed him a saw and pointed out a row of pine trees. Odif tromped over to the trees, inspected a few of them, and then chose one to cut down. He sawed into the trunk and after a few moments of sawing the tree jumped up in Odif's hand. The flesh of the stump stared up at him. He smelled it. A sudden horror gripped him. It was he who went into the light. It was he who flew away. And then just as suddenly he was standing there, brutally standing there in a field of pine and fir stumps, a dying tree in one hand, a saw in the other. As he tromped through the snow on his way back to the parking lot the smell of his own flesh rose in his nostrils, a smell he associated with the snow. And he couldn't tell the tree's juices from his own. Paul Kottman, one of Adriana Cavarero's translators, says she uses a word that means "to have a taste of oneself" or "to recognize one's own scent or flavor." The word is assoporarsi. Maybe it's related to assporarmi. A word like it should exist in English. There should also be a word for the sudden awareness of a chiasmus of self and pine tree, a short brutal word like "life" or "pain."

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posted by Fido the Yak at 8:19 AM.


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