Measurements of the Moon’s Natural Infrared Thermal Radiation1
CC: Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning, there’s one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-O has been living there for 4000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported. LMP: Okay. We’ll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.2
the gods have a rabbit in heat pounding out immortality in a bucket on the moon. legend says it’s in honor of his sacrifice, but really the gods must know the power of a sex drive redirected—each thrust of pestle into mortar accompanied by a muttered expletive, muscles ache but take strange satisfaction in the hard, repeated shock of each blow sending quivers from tip of ear to cottoned rump. where else could immortality come but from the frenzied labor of a biological imperative’s forced frustration? (though the gods no longer seem inclined to drink) this elixir’s made-to-order for Chang’e, so desperate for a solo trip she stole her husband’s tickets for their honeymoon: now perpetually opiated she wraps her legs around the cassia tree to stay in orbit, body’s tug continually heavenward against the bark leaving thighs as white as lunar loess cinnamon-soft. the man in the moon disapproves but can’t seem to turn his face away. “it’s a strange arrangement,” he murmurs, “but I guess whatever it takes to generate some heat.” “hm-mm,” hums the bodhisattva standing tiptoe on the sun. peering at the wrong side of the moon, now he regrets that Chang’e’s husband didn’t shoot an arrow into him as well, if only for a taste of what it feels like to explode, and finally let one’s body fall to earth (note: the cinnamon tree is a mistranslation— really it’s a sweet osmanthus, endlessly regenerating despite the efforts of the lonely woodsman who third-wheels in some versions of the tale, though maybe he, too, finds some pleasure in the match—the twisting regrowth of each limb that reaches toward him even as he swings his axe) “Breaking the osmanthus twig and mounting the dragon” was another euphemism, in this case, for sex.3”
1 "Measurements of the Moon's Natural Infrared Thermal Radiation." Ryadov, V. Y., Furashov, N. I., & Sharonov, G. A. Soviet Astronomy, Vol. 8, July-August 1984, p.82 2 Apollo 11 Technical Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, p.179 3 Eberhard, Wolfram. Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought, Routledge & Kegan Paul (London), 2013, p.76; qtd. in Wikipedia .
Eunsah Chan is a friendly guishin (but not a gweilo) haunting the liminal student-dropout-bo/barista spaces of Berkeley, CA. Twisted Moon feels fitting as her first publication. Mostly she dallies on the metaphysical plane, but has left some digital footprints at lilgreenonion.wordpress.com.