Human civilization, in its most brutal form, the skein or sieve through which species must pass to evolve

Noticing, before stepping out, through the entryway’s sidelights, there was a squirrel with what looked like a tennis ball in its mouth. (Thinking human civilization was a gate or sieve or screen door, through which other species, to continue to evolve, must pass — squirrels and Robins at the forefront or having already passed through the sieve.) Was evolutionary theory essentially liberal or conservative. Scavengers becoming predators, growing to huge sizes. Squirrels tails’ like those of ankylosaurs. Robins becoming sharks, Sparrows becoming towering trees, a thousand years old, while roaches, having grown microscopically small and gelatinous, only inhabit beaches and quasi marine areas.) Punctuation as a kind of geological phenomenon. how did geology and palimpsestry appertainOpening door cautiously in the event this was a “crazy” (ie =crazy)  squirrel. There he was on the front door mat, with what might have been a tennis ball in his mouth, about that size, caught in the act, exposed, maybe from the garbage or maybe from a nearby tree. He leaves the fruit on the mat darting off, a lion in 50,000,000 years, though why should I care, why should I have an idea of 50,000,000 years (oversized baguette in my mouth) science and democracy and capitalism have produced ideas such as “50,000,000 years” — ideas that may themselves be dead in 500 —  when a couple human generations seem like the vague stage curtains around my life.  (Democracy:  the public seems to operate with a damaged brain.)

(Immediate abdication: “A videogame would say it better.” The generic image of a door mat on a brick stoop. The generic image of a squirrel with its oversized greenish ballish fruit darting off. The generic step down to a generic sidewalk which intersects another sidewalk of the same sort…. In a video game, particularly one from the 80’s, the generic quality of all the things that surround you would be better represented than in any words of yours. For it doesn’t occur to you that there is any this to this place yet your appearance seems to insist on a this, on specificity in the place where you are. … Which Joyce solved through a mastery of the technical vocabulary of modern urban settings and familiarity with Dublin.)

At the corner of that intersection of sidewalk on the right side, a few stray pieces of garbage — where they pick the garbage up from in the mornings, and — the animals often getting to it before the garbage men do — you will often find generic orange rinds and generic nut shells or bottle caps or torn tissues around there. Today there is an odd remnant, less generic: what looks to be the colorful plastic remnants of a child’s toy, odd because there are no children in the building, that I know about. Start of a detective novel maybe. Moving on…

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