Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding . . .


THINGS THAT HAPPEN WHICH, FOR A TIME, KEEP US FROM CRUMBLING

Alone, standing still behind the unusually silent all-male dormitory, October, a Thursday forty-something years ago, 1975, the not-still boy, the not-yet man, is evening out by the side of the pond which is encircled by drowsy trees.

The trees' maroons and ochers are reflected in pond-ripples, and fat geese float placidly in the refracted hues. They are at home there. No notion of flight troubles their round, puny heads.

And the not-quite-yet man wonders, "How will I get home tonight?" And then (he didn't see the next thought coming) "There is no home to get to." Perambulations of mind, of heart, but not of feet.

During this freshman year aid has been located in a pen to write with, in the constancies of blank pages, in the time to gather something to say, to actually see what one thinks by what one says to no one, though he prefers not to write from his life. Science seems less trouble to write about (he had thought about this). In Science, plots have centers. George Washington Carver felt at home in a dorm like this one, and too, in God's Little Workshop--which is what he called his laboratory. Plasticity there. Bonded molecules of silence. Study. Years a man spends shelling miracles.

Above the not-quite boy, wisps of clouds, the color blue, sun behind him. Halo. Saturation.

Scanning the eastern sky he notes the complete absence of planes. Song-cycles spin repetitively in his head.

Love lost its elasticity as he stared down at his feet, flat, sinless in the green grass. Organics, he thought, are very important. When they're used up decay rots the foundations, and the musty world dissembles. No-world. Calcification.

No place to put pain, no one sea big enough in all the failing world.

The composite he had seen in the mirror that day: noboynomannohometogotoanymore.

Faces of people he had known years before now blow through his mind like blooms. A kind of rapture takes him in its embrace. He draws his sweater tight around him like a self who understands that it is wrapped around its own personal store of nothingness.

Nature's flow toward night, indecipherable rhythms, its gradient descent, these lay their certain regularities at his feet.

Gentle breeze blows bushy hair. Close. Round face.

Without detecting how or why, he felt alive. Alive. And so he stopped thinking about home and the absence planes and where he might go to observe the unfathomable pain that heaves the earth's seas, and instead he walked away, in the direction of his room where he would write and wait with oblique anticipation for whatever grace was sure and soon to arrive and bare its breast like a lover to his eyes and heart alone.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Up, Up and Away . . .

Go Lightly

“I’m not built for this kind of thing anymore,” I muttered, looking out the window at the face peering in.

“Shhhh.”  She smiled gently.  “Everything’s alright.”  Her voice was silver and calm.

In a general way, I knew what had occurred.

She climbed into my overturned car, into my upside down world.  Visceral fear eked out, mine, in reluctant tears.  Shame mine more than fear.  This woman—she touched my face and she smiled, as if there were nothing more natural under the sun to do.

I had been flipped over onto my head, which was twisted against the roof of the car’s interior and cricked drastically to the left, under my shoulder.  Warmth—wet, viscous—pooled around one cheek.  When the car had rolled, a sharp “something” the color of cement crashed forcefully through the driver’s side window, ramming the left side of my face.  I’d tried to wedge my hands against it.  I reached deep for the strength to right myself, to fend it off, but my strength was limited by the fact that I’d grown fat with time and drunkenness.   And so there I was suspended upside down unable to move my legs, which were pinned beneath the dashboard.  All of my weight had reasserted itself from my bull ass to my cricked head and neck.  I heard more than felt the initial crack of cheekbone, the snap of surrender.  The snap was my face breaking in on itself.  My cheek snapped off from my eye, my teeth cracked away from my nose.

I succumbed.  It was late.  A conciliating stillness had followed the spinning upheaval, the scraping, the over and around of it all.  Whirring.  Dark.  I think it was the airbag that blew me back just before everything had gone completely black.

And now this woman caressed my cheek, curled her hands beneath my head.  Smiling.  Smiling.  The weight of my body slumped off my head to my shoulders.  She completed this easily, effortlessly, and she never stopped smiling, even when—especially when—she settled her gaze in mine.  There was something like love there.  I knew.

“I fucked up,” I sputtered, warm liquids around my mouth.

“Everything’s okay,” I felt her say.  And she repositioned her hands to where my legs were lodged and numb, and she slid my knees from under the dash.  I could not feel my feet.  She laid me flat and held my legs.  I felt my spine straighten and felt an accompanying release.  Then she reached up, pressed her palm to my stomach and looked as if she were listening to something.  Her touch released me, birthed me, through my arms and legs, hands and feet, and I sat up.

Smiling.  “Come now,” she said.

I took her hand, rose, stepped around the vehicle.  It was like stepping outside of my own shell.

I looked back into the twisted remains, but I felt her watching and I looked to her again.

“Come,” she said once more.

We rose lightly, together, ever, ever so lightly, rising continually above the small crowd that had gathered near the scene.  Viewing the tops of their heads shrink.  Sound gained on the after-silence, growing fainter.  In the widening lens of ascent every detail grew more distant.  Sirens.  The night smacked open with red lights—so distant, barely a pinhead from that height, everything in the world and outside the world.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Soul Sacrifice

Ascent
hypnotic bends that lead to melody and percussive tinning--sticks and jinn--ambient spells that run at the level of mere mind, the key of see, little windows of the kind you find in airplanes or hornets' eyes, pigment-cup ocelli, shining all the way down to the beating heart of everything, a-thumping below the senses, unheard, felt faintly, a memory, visit and invitation, rose window--cathedral strains of light stringed and strung--sung. i remember . . . rumors and weird pronouncements (do i keep the e or not?) a meditation on spelling, siblilant sobriety, sober society of sound, circling--ascending. oh, slant of soul, assent now.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Wonderland.

it's nearly time for you to be waking. i have not yet been to sleep. outside my window everything is mantled in snow, which makes the world a quieter place. it's the middle of the night, the part that bends toward inevitable morning. i climb out of bed, boil water, make myself a bowl of pasta. i think of you sleeping far away, and i want to send my love to you.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Those sweet talking nights . . .


7th Floor, Berkeley, Asbury Park, November 4

I return from the hotel lobby
with hot coffee. The
oceanfront window is open
and I send love to the sea that is
constantly salt-scrubbing everything it touches.
It washes itself as it washes the earth and its
creatures. The bed is rumpled, and my lover is
off to begin her day. Her body haunts the white
sheets of memory and touch. Everyone needs to
be touched. In a just world every bed would be
rumpled and every morning, this one morning,
hot coffee, goodness everywhere.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Time it was and what a time it was . . .



Day of The Dead, 2011

Maybe the reason we call it fall,
is owing to the fact that in the
autumn trees dissemble,
the sun, the birds, withdraw,
make their homes in more
distant quadrants. Everything
falls away.

I have always been afraid to think that
life has more to do with “visitation” than it
does with “residence.”

So in this day, this autumn day, I collect all my
bruised goodbyes, and in that colored round
I forage.

I find much leaving,
a space where fall seems all,
that, and grace, and gratitude.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You, and [then . . .] I

At Rest, At Last

You invite me to re-enter my body after a near-
life-long absence. You: visceral spirit whose arms
are strong, whose bones clink together when you
speak of God, you whose flesh glows red whenever
you recall the great and ancient Ones residing
everywhere in everything,
tiny particle-gods
making up the air and the dirt
whose life the sprung crocuses, purple and yellow, fling out
toward the sun in exchange for the fire it returns,
blazingly, into the vast and expanding walls of
its otherwise dark and hollow frame. And I,
aflame with the firey particles of God,
you and I, aglow, remain,
as if made entire in a kiln.

So I—my dear muse—and my body (stranger for so long)
elicit the enfleshed songs of love, songs rejoining and
mixing with the spheres, rejoicing in our bodies, your
thighs, your own tender and vast universe between
the nested places you call me to, home, free to rock in
ecstatic forms of prayer that culminate in relishes of
silence, like a scream, a scream, sounds like your name,
dripping from my lips, earthbound, discovering air to all
celestial fire, breathing, chanting our eternal fleshy song
—we, taking and receiving, uncharred, burning.