And So It Is, poetry, Self Image

The Intimacy of Bats or When Did You Know Who You Really Were?

May 20, 2012
The Intimacy of Bats
It comes down to this:
Even at 15 years old I knew who I was.
Who I was on my mother’s bed, who I was as I lay startled to see a bat hovering near the ceiling fan as I made out in the way a 15 year old will make out with her 17 year old boyfriend.
That proving that a 15 year old can and will move her body like a 17 year old.
With my keen understanding that everything is a sign for something else,
I should have understood then that under the graph of thin meshwork, under muscle strips covered by bat skin was a map of my life.
A prophet, my future in the fabric of its wings, and  I was blind-sided.
I completely missed it.
In the Orient, bats are a symbol for good luck.
Here in the West, they’ve suffered a serious image problem.

I appeal to the lost.
I appeal to creatures who have to overcome darkness to get what they deserve.
What I love about bats: their invisible sound, bouncing off objects, returning as echo. Leaving as one thing, coming back as another.  They’ve mastered the art of taking.
Do you think they just give away their noiseless sounds?

They always get them back, and like some exclusive insider’s club: these sounds are too high-pitched for humans to hear.
For example, one sound could be I love you and we wouldn’t hear a thing.

What I have in common with bats:
I too have suffered a serious image problem.
I am haunted by myths.
I know the art of taking.
I return as  an echo.

I rely on echolocation, a seeing based on hearing.
I am part bat.
I listen for signs, I hunt in the dark.
I have been sulfur at the tip of torches, I have leapt to fire
when another flame came close, but finally I have found my way. Finally.
So I listen close,  for signs.
I listen as hopefully as blood draws to the surface I listen.
I am looking for that kind of reaction

And as silently as we watched those hairless pale yellow wings become as still as our answer to the moon.

What will we answer the moon?

The artist is what he is because of the time and place where he lives.
Be the artist now, be the artist here, in this time and place.
The intimacy of bats has escaped evolutionists but I am sure we could learn from these winged things.

How to listen closely, how to love what at first looks frightening. 

It comes down to this:

People fear most what they understand least.
Take love for example, God, death. Take honesty, cruelty, kindness even.
Take bats, those shy creatures, so misunderstood. They love quietly, haunted by myth.

At a very young age we decide who and what we love.
Then later, much later, tell it to the moon!
Tell it to the bats, tell it to anyone who will listen,

just who it is that you are, 
and why if you hunt here in the dark, if you listen close enough, you can hear your life, the wings a suggestion that you will make it,
that you are already there.

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  • Reply jamesvincentknowles May 20, 2012 at 11:21 am


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