To heck with it. I mean, really. This poem, for better and worse, has been around for fifteen years. I have never been sure of it although I love Ancestor Man and his long reach to the past (which is probably fell behind the couch.). So I'm publishing it here. (I DO like it.) I was thinking about something (many things) when I wrote this. Authenticity. Colonial Hegemony, stupidities, thereof. Its lingering presence. Lies. Sleights. The misdirection of anthropology. Sometimes, anyway. Physically, Ancestor Man reminds me of Wile E. Coyote. (So let's get down to cases. Since you are a rabbit, I am going to eat you for dinner.) I did see a Dr. Ma, when I lived in Seattle. And he did sell me a brown paper bag filled with dead cicadas. A little creepy. They resembled roaches. I boiled them for fifteen minutes, which lent a marijuana-gone-rancid air to my apartment. The idea behind the prescription, Chinese medicine, was, indeed, I was drinking coolness. My body ("hot") in Chinese med. terms, needed a break.
The Death & Times of Ancestor Man i. Where sunlight slips out over there cross a yard where a willow cranes, watching lamentation disappear over & again—that’s where Ancestor Man took leave, not in the city like they told you. Not Ancestor Man. Expert teams mold casts of his swift tread to read truth-in-plaster. Oh, they pound their chests with grief. Mr. A's gone. ii. I will tell you what happened. He sucked himself in as if his body weren’t flesh & his mother opened, just a little. Ancestor Man sunk in, knowing we look only to the past. iii. When we were Aztecs & quenched our thirst with mythic blood downed like Big Gulps, the guy was happy. “Well, good riddance, Ancestor Man!” Not so quick. He’s got his quirks but would accept a token—roses, a card, contrition—to know we still care. v. Okay, it goes deeper than that. Ancestor Man was a drug lord fronting for a cartel. The drug? Something even Dr. Ma, who grinds cicadas so their wings cool my feverish nights, never studied. A generic would do, but sickness is older than cure.
by Sarah Sarai (and none other)