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  • Joshua Toben Platt

La Lune

I asked myself which of the Major Arcana was the most inward-facing. I asked this because after so many months I started another blog, elsewhere. That platform refused to publish my writing, so I am back here. And I find I cannot make a reentry here without a reentry into Tarot, although my manipulation of these cards has not been the chief source of their strength.


The writing has become--well it's become fiercer. In a way more ambitious, more writerly, in a way. It has become writing about writing. It did not belong on a theater-maker's blog. The first, very long post was in a way about just how difficult it is to trust that there will be a reader interested enough in what I have to say to justify my saying it at all. The second column was a meditation on Freud's Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality in the age of the internet. I spare you both.

But there is the inward-face that puts me in this place, in the furious writing place that tears the very effort to communicate into bits and glues them back together, over and over again, and hopes that this act will constitute a writing.


I looked through my Major Arcana and found that the Moon is the one whose gaze is most inward. The crustacean's sensory apparatus, though present, is inscrutable, and the dogs are so wild and drunken on the sweat of the Moon that nothing could distract them. And there she is, up there, with nothing to look at, with no need to look at anything.


This is because she is inhuman. Perhaps my thoughts on Freud find their way through, in between the lines. The moon, the dog on the left, and the water, and some of those fragments shed, stony tears of sweat, all the color of mood, of intellect and retreat. All humankind has squirreled itself away in castles.


Have I been writing too much by the light of my own Moon? I think of how I've seen the Moon through so many precious windows, indifferent windows, frightening windows, and from time to time, up there in an unprotecting sky.


I did not ask this so directly of the cards when I wrote about the Fool and the Star, although between the lines....the issue at hand with these Arcana, as with dreams of power, is, what does this ask of me? What am I being asked to do, to become, to understand?


I look at the Moon's inwardness and see how laborious it must be, there is no repose in it. She summons creatures of great vitality and mystery to bathe in her element. Indeed, she rules the tides. She does not do so with a scepter. She does so through inwardness.


Perhaps the way to conclude a blog entry on the Moon, then, to make a start at answering her call, is a poem. A poem I write right now, and lightly reshape because spontaneous expression does not belong to writing, and then I will release it. (Note: I revised it not at all.)


"The Woman in the Moon"


She dances, her joints are stiff

and they move like straw knotted to itself.

She is like a Russian spy.

She has made her way into our minds like a drug, like a disease.

She means nothing by it.

She is freedom, as all things are, if we let them be.


The dance is a slice of mango on my tongue.

I buy the mango in a plastic container at the store across from the subway.

It is my plaza. It is my home. I will not leave this neighborhood.

The Moon, she has no neighborhood. She has no neighbors.

She comes for a visit to the Sun, who hasn't aged a day, and they blank one another out.

She has had to learn to be sweet alone.


He eats cookies and milk, he eats mango. He eats and eats.

He breathes and breathes. At times he sighs. At times he writes.

At times he listens. At times he is wise. At times he is a good friend.

At times he thinks dogs are better than people.

He doesn't often think of lobsters.


Is she, my mother, a someone to look up to,

Or is she someone to pity?

I wish I could share the mango, even with a dog.

So I share this poem with you.

Whoever you are, whenever you read it.

You too are worthy of its summer glow,

Even in the dark illuminated only by her inward glow.




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© 2018 by Joshua Toben Platt.

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