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Target One

no thing clever to say isn’t nothing enough to have said and been done with
that is to say take a year, this year, anno Domini 2016, and subordinate yourself
to its sovereignty: it exists. there is a thing called 2016 and it has been my friends
say terrible, brutal, the worst, and they say this in a variety of ways, some terribly
clever, they say in a variety of ways “Trump” and other proper celebrity names
naming who or what they say we have lost or that by which we are now afflicted

one friend or rather several and by friend of course I mean both those I know
from before and beyond the internet and many I know only through the internet
and I’ve nothing clever to say about that given that though it hasn’t all been said
before precisely it will have already soon if it hasn’t or that’s how it feels
which is the same or might as well be as I write this, one friend or several has said
it is 2016 being terrible again when a 106 year old man dies, a man who knew

106 years, sort of, to the extent that we can know anno Domini things not named
even but rather odd and even numbered under the faded sign of a name calendrical
this man knew Disney and drew Bambi and knew US anti-Chinese (oh the Chiefs
are in the playoffs, and a New Yorker writer has been to a truly lost city in Honduras’
Mosquitia valley, a city untouched, he says, since it was abandoned around 1500
anno Domini by the 10% or so of its inhabitants who survived the plagues Columbus

brought in 1492 across the ocean blue) prejudice, his name, I now know again
having forgotten but just found online (Google News search: “bambi 106 years old”)
was Tyrus Wong, I’ve got the New York Times story on him open in a Chrome
browser tab as I type this in MS Word on my MacBook Air on January 2, 2017, free it
seems of 2016, that scurrilous year, and I wax clever even as I do not, or do not wish
to because I began this writing thinking nothing clever works anymore and yet my

feeds (Facebook, Twitter) are full of clever quips and gifs and bon mots observing
the passing of the year, a year that just passed yesterday in the US of Tyrus Wong
and the Honduras of Target One (“a slotlike zone macheted out of a stand of heliconia,
next to an unnamed river in the valley scientists had nicknamed Target
One”), many blaming 2016, blaming “us” or “it” or “them” for having made it so
horrible a year, a year in which celebrities died and ascended to power, a year

in which we passed many clever words and shared many clever images commenting
on celebrities passing and ascending and falling, and by “we” I mean my friends both
those I know and don’t really know, as in know in person, as in know in the flesh, as
people whose profiles and likes and politics more or less align with mine, people
among whom a certain cleverness works, or has, though it feels very much now
that no thing clever can or has been said, or works, the people of Target One are dead