Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Callahanna and Coercia

Counterintuitively, as it might seem to you and me,
Callahanna and her stepsister Coercia’s strategy
today to counteract inertia was to set themselves
into a sort of trance-tableau. Coercia sat in profile

with her eyes fixed straight ahead; Callahanna stood
with folded arms and stared at somewhere else instead,
similarly statically immobile and against quite any flow
of air or thought or impulse that might prod expulsion

of the least somatic reflex, like a hiccup, burp or fart.
The tension that it took to cook up and preserve this art
of statue-stillness, to retain their poses in a muscular
refusal to so much move a fingertip, might well have

tripped into a panicked manic mental illness had this
sister and stepsister not been asked to do the task
(outwardly to look like pictures of inertia while, inside,
Vesuviusly on the brink of spewing gas). But Callahanna

and Coercia would much rather look inert for an eternity
than flirt or chat or make a pass. Plus, for their display,
they’d been well paid. In and of such circumstances,
temperaments are beckoned to, lives are made.


No comments: