I have neighbors
from Siberia. The woman is squat, rosy-cheeked, and wears a babushka.
Every day her husband paces outside, coughing. Did he work in the
mines? Or is it cigarettes? I want ask, but they hardly speak English.
When I arrived
home this morning, he pointed and said, "Umbrella!" "Umbrella,
yes," I replied. We both laughed. Middle-aged, it
would seem that the highly developed technology that can put
people on the moon, launch probes into space, or estimate how old
a geological deposit might be result from the neocortex's capacity
to make explicit the implicit calculus of these small lexiconal triumphs, tribal breakthroughs,
What would happen
if I say "Stalin"?
a slug stares up
at a hairy giant.