Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the possum christ

riding home last night i saw a dray of squirrels thronged about a tree and by the tree a man was feeding them to the sound of some classic hit from the late sixties. i listened and listened and the sound shifted as i rode past. what was that song? there were so many squirrels. wait! they weren't squirrels! this isn't thailand! speaking of which:

the word for today is hypnopompic. hypnopompic means to do with waking up. a hypnopompic experience therefore is one you have while waking. here's one:

waking up i looked up; looking up i saw a picture: the kiss, by klimt. there's a buffy episode where vampires are stalking on campus. when they've drunk their fill of undergrad blood they grab a trophy and come back to the nest. the trophies go on the wall, like trophies should. that's how you know they're trophies. for trophies the vampires grab posters from their victims' walls. they've got a whooole lot of klimt going on back there in the lair but behold! i digress! back to the story:

i'm staring at the picture, thinking this: 'wow, here in this malaysian backpacker joint they got the same klimt picture on the wall as georgia has on her wall in her loungeroom back in melbourne.' i stare at it a lil more. 'wow.. what are the chances?' i think.

pretty fucking slim, by my reckoning. pretty.. fucking.. slim. georgia by the way is my daughter's mother, for those of youse who don't know her. i've been staying at her house since me and my daughter alaska got back from overseas a couple weeks ago.

is there a punchline? yes: here: i wake up a bit more and realise that i'm in georgia's loungeroom, not in a malaysian backpacker joint. i'm in australia. therefore these are not squirrels but possums. the collective noun for possums, apparently, is passel: a passel of possums. me, i like posse better.

there's quite the posse of possums thronged about this tree. it's a park at night: there are floodlights. the light and the possums and the shadows they make together, possums and shadows thronged together in the night, thronged about the twin poles of the tree and the man, the possums with worshipful bodies and cagey eyes, the man throwing out food: all these things combine in a religious assemblage and the man is christ feeding a multitude and the tree is the tree of life or maybe the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. the possum christ has a beard and everything. fuck! this light throws everything into high contrast and the possums are eerie, eerie in the night looking back from their christ at me, me riding through the park at night, drunk on exhibition wine and this vision and the blood of the lamb who taketh away the sins of the possum world. it's christian but some kind of syncretic christianity, christianity mixed with something else. voodoo?

who so loved the possums that he gave his only begotten son that they might be saved? it's a very good question but i hightailed it out of there. i had beheld the other and it blew my gourd.

the next morning i walked by the river and lo! beheld a snag: a submerged branch rising from the water like a bird's foot. sitting on the snag was a grey duck. the duck had turned its head completely back so it could tuck its beak into its feathers and stay warm.

it was shaped like a giant gunmetal teardrop and was completely still.



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