Astral Visions
Hannah Weiner

Columbia Poetry Review #9 - 1996


charles gave instructions and said "sir not hip hop to sir cot without sir extra blanket" and "sir not get sir solomon r guggenheimer, if sir eat sir but" and "sir not get sir solomon r guggenheimer if sir not wear sir slip" and "sir not etc, etc" until finally i said "charles i am going to take you out of lead position" and he turned into godzilla a huge image of godzilla before me with the face of charles and he only did that once we have to attribute this to emma his daughter i suppose, whose favorite movie was godzilla i do believe at a certain point and i have a movie of godzilla and i can hear charles's voice saying still "here, here comes the hero" and there was one point if you read the first line of silent teachers where it says "blah" and that was charles's way of blanking out on my forehead any words that were not accurate he would just go "blah, blah, blah, blah" stamped across my forehead and the other thing he did once was i woke up one morning and there he was in his godzilla form, or just the head rather with his white teeth going "grrrrr"

as families go his son felix appeared at 3 mos. as a lizard quite often and taught me yoga i had a slight irregular heartbeat at the time and felix would make me lie down in a cool place in the living room or in the bedroom, wherever, in a relaxation yoga pose and do some very slow breathing, and he would make sure i took my medicine at night and sometimes he would appear as himself as a baby in a sort of basket, it looked like a basket but wasn't of course, but a sort of crib felix first appeared in a swing whose ropes were covered with flowers

so those are two other animals that i have, godzilla and felix the green monsters, like father like son and i wanted to say in closing because i think i will after this before i get into a whole different category of stories but i could say which has nothing to do with anything on the astral plane or the visual plane that i was vastly amused to find that felix's favorite program was barney who turns out to be a dinosaur now how all this runs in the family i don't know, but i think the important thing is to remember both charles bernstein and felix are silent teachers