Monday, August 29, 2005

Directly in front rises the chestnut tree

Directly in front rises the chestnut tree out of muddy earth. The sky moves much these days. Dark rain clouds released for an entire night heavy water and thunder. The terrace situates between two walls, a negative peninsula extending into the two-story house. Found between the two floors off a staircase to the upper apartment it opens to the backyard. A table, makeshift, narrow and half-rotted supports books, a notebook, two citrus candles to discourage mosquitoes, keys, sunglasses, a pen.

A slight breeze waves a hanging, flower-printed cloth, maybe a scarf but used last night as a tablecloth. The tree in full view, symmetrically situated when looking over a repeatedly-painted brown railing, arrives at half its height to the terrace. Clouds white, cotton-fluffy, move slowly across the sky, wipe away intermittently shadows of the tree, where also hangs a metal hoop from a high branch. Its two-dimensional shadow, in perfectly drawn perspective, oscillates in the breeze as the lightly caressing wind breathes.

A black and white cat slithers out of the bushes unaware. Hearing an unexpected sound skittishly looking up, suspicious, slightly aroused, then: feline indifference.

Rays of the sun turn the corner: reveal vertical angled shadows extending from the railing. The sunlit tiles fall into shade, then again light, announced by harder color.

The tree presents illness. Late august most of its leaves already prematurely a withered brown. Already scrutinized for its demise questions arrived as to the possibility of consulting tree doctors.

A poem reports longing and loneliness: the expectant waiting of a wife. China. Words scanned twelve-hundred years later by another restless heart. For eternity she eagerly anticipates the day in which she will make her way to a sandy beach in aching anticipated meeting-

-Gblunk, half-seen trace of falling shape, looking up to now bouncing branch: a chestnut in its green prickly housing rests on earth, its falling plight fleetingly glanced, scored in partially conscious memory. Its descent confirms perhaps a moment of consonant sadness with river–merchant’s wife? Like sparrows lighting in a window sill, events sequenced: thought computes meaning from temporal occurrences.

Background noises. Street sounds: motorbike buzz rises and falls, car-rubber rolling on asphalt, truck gears gurgle and exhaust rumble-roars. Sounds, a constant patchy humming, unseen sources: voices softly converse- neighbors close, stereo music seeps gently, bird chatter sprinkles, a work-saw shrieks, motor-running blade-shrilling through wood, shutters open, door closes. Focused and distinguished, separated one after another through greenery of fences: the city’s walls maintain anonymity between persons unknown, barriers.

Inexorably inching, light turns the corner’s angle: shadow-edge is lighted-tile-edge, and harder colors on terrace floor, sundialing across as the chestnut tree calls in its silence and termination. Its illness, like human illness, appears: time in an envelope of the slippery present conceals causes and resultant cellular movements. Like this sundialed etching, illness writes unperceived on the landscape of bodies and tree bodies alike. Only movement feeds eyes hungry for time, yet much of time’s palette works unseen: frozen yet believed, its shifting patterns like rust advancing. And pain too bespeaks of time.

Ancient scribes long passed to dust also etched, like time, on fine parchment the images that spoke their heart's resonances: laments of soldiers and captains, war campaigns in spring, now snowy winter, and longing for rest and return. Their timbered voices of a day vibrate, vaulting from their one and only time-ness to the one and only time-ness of another whose heart stretches across this day. Could a song reach backward across time as well, or does it move only in the air and light of now, nor projecting into future, trapped in moments so ungraspable yet too quickly moving? Yet words, alas, move forward like the bird shoots across sky: its traced arc perceived until eye, following, catches bird. In earth’s time then, may not all words- brief traces also followed then grasped- fade across brief human time?

Sun uncovered from clouds by winds seeking their limit, diminshing in trees, grasses and open spaces over earth. Light sundailing across: shadow-edge is lighted-tile-edge, and harder colors on terrace floor, sundialing across the terrace in late august summer as the chestnut tree moans silently its completion-

-Gblunk, falls a chestnut….

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today I feel privileged

Today I feel privileged.


Yeah, lighter, more free like a yoke has been taken off.

But that word, “privileged”; dangerous man, you a white, male American.

Wait a minute what America?

Those united states in the Americas.

But that’s not the privilege I feel.


Yes, no, I mean yes, that American thing, white thing, male thing…all that is weight, baggage, responsibility, something to get away from, to challenge with work, and words and being, even my clothes and hair, my - excuse the word, lifestyle.

Are you talking about long hair and lifestyle or…?

Ok stop it already, of course not: let’s get to the work.

What work?

The work.


Well I don’t work: I mean I don’t have to work so then I must work and that’s the privilege I am enjoying today because by not working I can work and be responsible for my privileges.

OK we’re a bit familiar with your story: you’re lucky and have organized yourself so as not to be a slave just now. So what do you propose with all of this privilege ?



Isn’t that the battle today: words and from words, BEING. The problem with most words is that they become ideas or I should say, merely ideas. Where poetry should indicate and crystallize experience, should like odors from the kitchen lead us to the table where we eat, they instead are enclosing experience in word-boxes. We smell the putridness of ideas and forget we are hungry. And what an explosion of pundits and poets. Words like piranhas they eat us, kill life, pacify us, make free thought and free being impossible. Words today promote herd-thought. Led to the slaughter by words the voice of the gods have been usurped by demon shepherds who corral us into word-pens, or worse a certain sheep is raised to be ‘an elected official’ who 'has the voice of the people' and takes the herd over the cliff.

So you think words can show how to live? Like give an owner’s manual for enlightened social revolution? I seem to remember a certain party and man in Berlin who did that quite well, thank you.

Exactly! But he was a masterful EVIL shepherd, who obviously could get the herd to the feed-trough and like Daddys everywhere kept strict order at the table with relentless use of fear. The question becomes how can poetry confront in a SIMILAR but fundamentally subversive, anarchic manner the foundational desires of anime. Where he bottled and blocked and channeled words into closure, into death, we want to excite toward freedom.

A tall order, no? Can millenniums of crusty habit, of herd-behavior be so easily upended?

If it’s erotic, beautiful, exciting, liberating and free, and by free I mean it can’t be dirtied by money. That must be its litmus test: no money which means anarchy: and if you mean chaos by that word, OK: risking chaos, attacking every mental and social structure that is grounded in herd-authority.

Sounds like a religious program: are you proposing a new religion?

Herd-sports, herd-hate, herd-war, herd-accumulation, herd-shopping, herd-drugs, herd-porn, herd-fashion, herd-TV, herd-Hollywood, herd-religion: take any herd-energy of today and ask yourself could poetry fill, substitute, those needs satisfied by those herd-activities. Who among us herd-creatures can know what to feel today in this Babel tower of ideas, in this charnel house? Who is capable of looking into and seeing its many rooms, and god forbid that we should truly feel the horror!
Poetry, or rather experience, guided by poetry, could shows us once again how to feel, how to unshackle true desire, how to end the reign of the TERRIBLE:

A fresh plague, this crawling light, his erect anger, her true walls, such white pain, our red reason, one vertical beauty, many sexy works, the thrashing love, a thousand fat wishes, that green death, those turtle dreams, a larked poem, two zigzagging freedoms, a heaving song….

Liberation poetry: is it possible?

His last night

His last night. Tomorrow he would be in another place, another room, call it an attic. But he doesn’t consider this, doesn’t concern himself, as he is accustomed to the many changing situations of the practical side of life. He distances his emotional self from these tedious situations, habituating himself to movement, adjusting, finding patience, saying to himself: here or there, it is the same, all we have in the end is this waiting: let’s see what the situation presents.

He sees a clear and strong sense of the singleness of his existence and the complete and absolute quality in which he is alone. In his detached awareness of his solitary figure, of his body on the bed within four walls, alone in the quiet of the city in the small hours of night, he notes a distinct and unemotional attentiveness to his dilemma of being. He wonders how long could one continue like this: not seeking new contacts, not renewing old ones, not promoting himself, adrift to the current of mystery that is his life. Working yes, but not promoting himself as a project, or seeking outside of himself in anything or anybody, the salve for his restlessness. Oh to be like some big dark jungle cat, comfortably unaided and alone who at times ventures forth for specific wants, moving amongst the trails and obstacles of the day, not considering others, being a singleness of purpose based in self-sufficiency.

Still, even if finding success in his endeavor of refining and clarifying his mission of solitude, of pruning away superfluous and needless entanglements, he acknowledges his desire also of contact, of discourse, of an exchange. And he sees the likely possibility of an excruciating loneliness seeping unawares like scentless gas into his existence. Perhaps though it’s the superficiality of these very exchanges, of the banal complications that too often occur, of the knots and misunderstandings, of the difficulties of finding intelligent and pleasing intercourse, of realizing an easy reciprocity, that inspire and motivate him to cultivate his solitude. Also he is timid and awkward, has never minded being alone, often singled out as a loner.

But it goes further than a simple wish to avoid unpleasant, or pleasant, entanglements, of shunning distractions. Surveying the scope and life span of artists he admires, he notes a similarity of approach: notable work accomplished by a selfish and stringent regard for the precious and untouchable essence of the source. And that source is the lone cat spirit in the cold, dark and immense forest that is creation. Not all great work was achieved only by this approach. Many gregariously extroverted poets, engaging often excessively in the flux of society, have left their mark. Yet however much immersed, they retained at the core a singular and unbending sense of integralness that was their art.

Thus were his thoughts as he reflected on this last night. He felt this difference: that he had grappled with the elements of his life, casting some things off, some things, people also, fading away of their own accord, all in such a way as to heighten this sense of uncertainty and impermanence against a backdrop of self. He felt alone and isolated, secreted. So much had fallen away. Or were things instead falling into place?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

In this charnel house why have they left me

In this charnel house why have they left me?

The blistering skin of innocents, molecules of horror in the smell of cooking flesh though some at least finished instantly yet too many in slow agony grieving in remembering, not understanding, asking why, even scores of years after.

Asking why, why smearing shit on cold prison walls, day after day, months on end? I saw it, with pangs of hunger until death, this protest against men and machinery.
On the ward, I was walking those corridors, in every room, in every bed, a witness of minds thwarted, of hopes destroyed, of violent systems destroying. Some here simply because they refused, unwilling to abide, others caught, unable to hussle a game, a trick, a scam, all nonetheless warehoused in this temporary camp of emotional refuges. But here, especially here the rules and games fall into high relief. Just play the game if you want out, maybe you don’t want out, but these with their pills and needles and treatment programs and discharge plans will not allow you to not play the game.
-But we have to figure this thing out, right now, here, he almost screamed at me.
-Yes, but it’s the same game in or out. I'm not sure if I can give you any answers. I am like you, I just happened to hide a little more successfully than you.
-That’s not enough, he says.
-Well what can I do for you? I'm a bit of a misfit myself in all this mess. But look, let’s try to take it easy and see what we can think up to at least get you out of here.
His eyes expressed disappointment at my complacency, that I had even proposed a compromise, to put off for another day tackling the big delima. He wanted the answer, wanted to crack the nut of what, existence? He wanted to knock down walls, wanted to release pain’s grip on life. And so with the hypocrisy we each acquiesce to in every waking moment the session ended and I left him in confusion and anger and went to make my rounds of controlling the other internees: like the old man lobotomized, internally raging, forced, brutalized into silence scores of years past; of the young girl, her desire flows impossible to channel, incessantly masturbating, flowing, sliding in and out from one self to another; the failed suicide now paraplegic who shows me balls of shit she created, mounted on a printed art-card I had given her; and the many others, the raving, the silent, the incomprehensibles, the old and abandoned, the young abandoned, this depot of human accidents, broken souls but broken by us.

Meanwhile elemental hunger, elemental cold, elemental desire, elemental fear, the greed of power, of envy, of flight from emptiness, of loneliness, boredom, cancer of souls eaten raw by impossible life where flesh slowly rots, corrupted.
Where beauty cannot reside cellular death creeps forward, signally with bodily pain: remember me, you pay the price for lies, for envy, for soul’s created for love yet not finding, and life turns against itself, against its very organs. This factory, a body, its waste filling dumps and sewers, filling churches and doctor’s couches, movie theatres with fast-food hope, classrooms of indoctrination where generals meet soldiers in good smiling cheer, such tender motherly cheer. When did she loose that son to war's calling? At what moment did killing or glory missions or brotherly companionship defeat truth and attempt to break umbilical cords that can never break, reaching even across death?

I wonder, as my own shit smells sweet would my putrid body in death be pleasing, as on mountain tops the priests, stripping skin, opening muscle, organs and bone to sky smile in irony or are they sad and do the dead need compassion also? I would like to ask them, is it philosophy only that keeps you from vomiting, from shedding tears, or just habit?

In this charnel house they have left me to walk alone across flowers and corpses, amongst gardeners and lieutenants their efforts with steel equally and skillfully consummating tasks for the rich. Walking, we wander lost in the lies and necessities of earthly economies. Does heaven play its part, is there a celestial economy, is it just chance the roles we take, the butcher, the victim, the carnal killers, the diseased? I’ve refused to eat the meat yet I too contribute to the filling of this charnel house, my hunger of body and soul, of this one human collective body, churning out structures and injustices. This is why the old interest me so, searching in their faces for my own end, preparing myself for when the cock no longer rises, the bones no longer bend, writing now on my face with the pen of my soul the wrinkles that will portray me best, that will say, he too passed here, laid out, my wings uncovered finally, boldly visible.

Here we hide our true nature, that common origin, that divine spark. I am still shy to look you in the eye lest I be discovered. Why does the truth embarrass: because not knowing why we die, can we live fully such tragedy?

Friday, August 19, 2005

The light of Skagen I remember

The light of Skagen I remember. The deep golden hues of the sinking sun on the buildings like cottages. On the bus with your son, asleep in his stoller and probably wet, shadows lengthened in sharp contrast with the flaming surfaces. Surfaces sensual, fleshy as if they had put on fancy evening wear concealing underneath the drab and colorless aspect of normalcy. Yet not true: even in high noon this angled light of the high north gave a supernatural, transcendent quality to every material where one could sense a high order of being and purpose. Call it a ‘truth light’ perhaps.

Against a shimmering backdrop we lived this drama: in the dunes and lonely hills, in the grasses subject to incessant wind, in the rhythms and frivolity of tourists and their wardens we suffered the ebbs and flows of insecure love, of an uncertain future, of nebulous doubting and unknowing, of strong attachments and great fear, giving sway to intensity of feeling, your heart seemingly bursting. Whatever channel lets flow the molecules and particles of being, whatever locks and levees control that stream of emotion, of love, you fought it continuously, zealously. And why I still ask myself, even years later, could you not concede? Was I responsible? Was I too silent, not forceful enough in confronting your hesitations?

Even at the beginning of our journey it seemed the end, our separation, already flavored the present. As if we both knew beforehand this brief interlude was passing, moving inexorably to conclusion. Every act intense, every gesture amplified, every look we exchanged under the light of some field of game where time and all its moments are measured. And like sport echoes ancient rites where winners take all and losers forfeit their very life, I believe we also staked.

Again something in the intensity of the seasonal light, of place, where two seas crash, one into the other at that highest point of Europe: one its waters dark, surging from the northwest, the other less cool, lighter and green, flowing more calmly, so our two souls confronted one another. Each crashing into the other where deep currents and sediments and unseen elements surge forth, only partly conscious of the impending meeting. And in your many tears and moanings and desperations, like the visible and audible spraying and pounding of those waves, they gave witness to a great and formidable crisis: a crisis no less primal and ultimate as the merging of those two seas in one.

And in this eternally recurring and seasonal movement of light, subtly shifting, constantly refocusing new aspects of forms, surfaces and depths, we breathed in Skagen a heightened sense of the circling of time and life, of death and renewal. One moment gliding, shifting like the dunes into the next, days powerfully present yet in movement, summer days slipping into autumn, autumn the inside of summer. In my silences of those days maybe I tried to give indication of this wordless falling away of things. Your heart seemed laid bare, open, if not split wide, to that terrible marching forward toward separation, toward a life we know blooms then fades, only to bloom again. I wonder if we will not live again those Skagen days, returning to relive them again and again, like the perpetually turning seasons, perhaps each time more intensely and fully, just as I sit here now replenishing, deepening them once again with more meaning and significance.

We loved in Skagen: for me, loved as I have never loved again, damning my future by these echoes still sounding from those sandy dunes and wind blown grasses. I fear the hollowness of any love avowal as these resonances still vibrate my heart.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

But why cry you, my son

But why cry you, my son?

My heart laments; I found much sadness as I gazed upon those young lovers. Such beauty destined for what: separation and death only?

But you too have tasted those joys. Are those pleasures, though fleeting, to be relinquished for fear of future remorse?

Exactly: I’ve much sadness, much that I regret from loss and from that which I now lack. My heart laments its loneliness.

But why lonely, am I not here always?

But where, where are you now? And you left me too.

Too, too? We all leave! We all have only that path to face. Like the young child when the mother leaves even if only for a few hours what tragedy! In that out rush of tears we sense his foreshadowing of the eventual reality of loss, of that final separation which is death. Yet the young child resists, insists on refusing it, and is engulfed in sadness! Though you may be alone that is the salt, this sorrow, of your days here: use it too much though and life becomes unpalatable.

But I don’t know what to do, my efforts fly away in strong winds, cast hither and thither. What mark do they hit?

Is this why you are discouraged one moment, angry the next? You want guarantees? Of what: success? Fame? Even these are for sure bittersweet.

But my thoughts race too fast, I can’t capture them; I’ve not a sense of discipline and I am subject to cruel accusations- from my self! How is one to work? I despair.

That is because you forget my son: your will is the tiller that directs the rudder of your purpose and your purpose is to realize your divinity. Forgetting to hold firm the tiller one cannot keep on course. Granted there are stormy seas, or days without wind, or even a lazy, rebellious crew, yet remaining attentive, steadfast and calm you will find courage as you see your ship guided by your heart’s commands. You will find your course.

Yes, but here nothing seems sacred: a confusion of tongues, and horrid and false idols. Lies and cruelness abound!

That has always been, and will continue in this human project, perhaps even more than ever. Darkness and shadow may deepen even more to show light in higher relief before the one truth reigns.

But why have we so forgotten our origin? Even myself, I understand the words well enough, yet to realize in feeling the truth, this is another matter.

Yes. And thus you have forgotten already your tears of this night! Find there the measure of feeling: in sadness as you behold love’s nascent beauty; in joy and the giving of self in ultimate sacrifice; in strength, courage and passion as you overcome fear and weakness; in resolute resignation in performing righteous and inexorable duty. Truth has no words but lives, often accompanied by bittersweet tears. At our core divineness resides. Few dare descend its depths. Thus cruelty ascends while most remain crusty and too thickly skinned. Angels do not appear where too few tears soften a hard and rigid ground. Yet many, too many, suffer unjustly at the hands of others.
Is this why I fear to pray father? Not the prayer of those ignorant and superficial hypocrites who just as easily judge, condemn and even kill in their zealousness and righteousness! But can I find my way again? Can I invoke, petition these truths?

Careful not to judge yourself those whom you accuse of being judgmental. Many roads arrive at the same destination. Remember a spark of goodness may germinate in the most wicked and a grain of wickedness itch the most righteous. The extremes often must be tasted before the way of tolerance and respect can be recognized. Patience with the thick-skinned my son. Live and let live, as they say. Find the necessity in your soul to commune with your divinity. Then will you find that formula of your unique prayer. It could be that true prayer comes of its on accord. When we have no other recourse. When we cannot not pray.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Who protects them

Who protects them the wandering refugees searching for water and shelter waiting for the day of the return home Who protects them the hungry unfed in all the deserts jungles and towns and cities the world over Who protects them the exploited working hours upon hours in dust and poisons and darkness Who protects them the lonely isolated in prison or home or wandering Who protects them Who protects them the mothers worrying for their children waiting in their loneliness for the homecoming Who protects them the children aching for love Who protects them from fear from desolation Who protects them the women raped in war walking the sidewalks opening then receiving Who protcts them the women loosing their sons and daughters to war disease famine Who protects them without their men racked by monthly pain birth pain love pain Who protects them our women who love us Who protects them the soldiers in fear killing or killed boy soldier girl soldier Who protects them the elderly starving for companionship for an ear that listens a place of usefulness respect and peace Who protects them

Who protects them the wealthy and powerful the pundits and politicians bankers lawyers Who protects them though they have all they need Who protects them they who also fear Who protects them their position their money mansions cars diamonds pools gardens Who protects them that conduct millions who direct manipulate and take who order killings Who protects them men of business believing organising risking trying loving hoping Who protects them the torturers the guards the captains Who protects them the pimps the dealers of arms drugs of women children of organs of unfit food and chemicals and death Who protects them the presidents and mayors and bosses the princesses the kings the dying bishop Who protects them

Who protects them the poets isolated in their frustration and folly Who protects them from madness desperation Who protects them from themselves from the extremes of drug and drink all excesses unto death Who protects them and gives them strength and inspiration fortitude insight and solutions

Who protects them in the madhouses the neurotic the psychotic the addict the drunk Who protects them the teens in trouble in rebellion they who challenge us be it vagabond or our best friend or best enemy Who protects them from medication isolation from the leather straps on the legs and arms from the needle and electroshock and from us Who protects them

Who protects them the innocent the children the only innocent Who protects them the cruelty the whip the TV the cock Who protects them from the dark and the nightmare from life Who protects them a love that demands that limits and bargains a love that wants instead of just is Who protects them in the schools left alone to compete to learn to hate to respect division rank class and privilege Who protects them the innocent in the night as they sleep and the earth shakes and destroys Who protects them

Who protects them the trees that give shade and beauty that hold the soil that breathe our life’s air Who protects them from the axe and bulldozer from the killing rain and heat Who protects them from profits and global business from the cow-eaters Who protects them from the tree-cutters who buy their daily bread bought with their destruction Who protects them from the readers of books and newspapers from the receipts bills tickets packaging ass-wiping window cleaning we the paper users Who protects them they whose disappearance will bring our final demise

Who protects the earth wrapped tied circled and divided by fences borders satellites missiles planes buildings highways bridges monuments cars trains ships tunnels mines farms pastures garbage and landfills Who protects her waters her air from us who take and never give even her wind we harness Who protects her eternal turning her circling her voyage her life a life bombed and burnt and dirtied to no end Who protects her sun also dying her moon ever faithful Who protects the earth

Who protects us those we love those we hate those we love to hate Who protects my friend my father and brother my brother of different colour Who protects my lover from my jealousy my pettiness my neediness Who protects my lover who gives what I need but not all I need Who protects those who make my bread and clean these streets who make the mines and bombs and bullets that destroy lives and limbs Who protects them who create death to earn their wages Who protects them who grow my food who it bring it to my city and Who protects those who build cities

Who protects memory our history our one truth of one human effort Who protects the history of us all equally dying Who protects us born naked and dependent we who disappear in sadness Who protects our testaments our stories Who protects the memory of the lone man dying forgotten in his room Who protects the knowledge of the old ones grandmother grandfather Who protects those mountains who watch down over us without judging Who protects the stars who from afar are curious of us and give us mystery and desire Who protects the sky and heavens and the wind that moves all Who protects the birds and our brother animals insects and fishes Who protects that which we take into our bodies so that we may live

Who protects our creator

Who protects me in my loneliness

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Water, flowing slowly, undulating, rusty and shallow like that stream we ran and played in as we hunted for tadpoles. Water in movement, discovering, embedded, clutched by sand and pebbles a syringe. Water flowing, searching for repose, shiny circular shapes hardly distinguishable, contrast with substance of plants, dreamily suspended. Three trees mirrored, upside-down, as roots, stems, sticks circle over the printed image. A transparent glass bowl in water, water surrounding water, a womb full of small fish trapped. Pulsing, softly agitated the water flows. Small whirlpools pulling matter, movement of unconscious time, natural time, empty of human presence.
Yet a voice, woman’s laughter, happy ironic then a breath and returning ignorant time.
In water more traces in shapes of syringes, some under rocks partially seen, one its plunger pulled out lies in a silver cigarette case, coffin like, companioned with some coins and sediment for eternity, half covering an over-turned spoon in mud. Flowing water, swimming onward revealing a saviour’s papered icon, lost among more coins. Following water new forms move into view, vague and unrecognisable until the pistol grip, then trigger guard and cold cruel steel give clue to violence of humankind. Fine metal teeth, flat circles striped naked, vulnerable to eyes, inner clock mechanisms rest on soft sandy bottom, its underwater medium; a metal spring isolated and sad, stark and useless without context lies inert, water emersed its spirals retired, slowly dissolving, rusting, testifying to endless human effort against nature. A torn corner piece page 28 newspaper waves, swirls of ballet; curved wires, iron boxes, men’s geometry of angles, depths and spaces thick in watery passing. Water hovering, bathing a threaded tube, spatula forms and oars. Sleeping curled fingers, dirty, a hand, immobile, its palm half-open, short fingernails docked in the flooded shallows of the shore.
A black wolf dog looks up, he stands his attention curious concerned. Greyed patches of closely cut hair move into frame, a lined forehead, aged, man asleep, Adam with furrowed wrinkles, chiseled like changeless stone, span outward from corners of eyes. Unshaved, ragged, his lips open as if to speak, human time at last and then closing, dreaming.
His blue eyes open. Awake, a gasp of air, his gaze, upside-down and odd, inquiring, peering directly at us. He sits up in soul weariness, arching space with bodied form, marking time, now, forward, ungraspable, the present insisting yet already leaving, encasing past, invisible. Situated also on the shore of the future with death etched, stamped into his visage, and speaking Adam declares, 'The same day'.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

If we follow him

If we follow him as he moves through the city, city of ancient Roman military roads, straight and covered with modern, oily asphalt, we see him looking left and right, sometimes following an object or person with a turn of his head as his bicycle carries him forward. This turning of the head, indicating a wish of recognition in another. He seems self-conscious as though fearful to be discovered in his queries. Arriving in the piazza he returns to the library to return his borrowed objects, remembering where he saw her last, wondering how one can find a lost soul in this lost city. A needle in a haystack you launch yourself into the hay, thus he follows deliberately a young woman overtaking her, a glance at her face and passing. Like this he moves about in the city: a street blocked by construction, or the chance passing of pedestrians blocking his turning determines his path.

Other times he merely sits watching: as today the men who work mounting a stage for a concert, noting how they carry themselves, one with tattoos very conscious and vainly proud of his presence, others less so, or nor at all as they work naturally and deliberately. In his admiration of their artistry and simplicity remembering he too found satisfaction in manual labour, skilled labour, useful labour.

He plays the game of creating life stories of those who happen to pass by: tourists with maps and shopping bags, their eyes focused on the new, parents self-satified yet bored, indolently pushing strollers like prigioners in the yard, youngsters frivolous and care-free, oblivious to all except their flirting, a lone woman seemingly hurrying, perhaps to conceal her uncomfortable aloneness. Finally moving, as the stage work proceeds uninteresting, he moves to another observing point, ‘sotto le due torre’, under the two towers: a meeting point well utilised by the inhabitants, himself as well. In the shadows of the large medieval structures he finds little solace, quite bothered even by their self-important permanence. Or a certain awkward obviousness motivated him to yet again move?

Remembering the market of Saturday he travels down toward the station. Parking his bike he moves amongst the shoppers, so impassioned to buy, to frantically search though the tables of cheap wares and clothing. The air is fine and in the summer light he notices pleasantly a slow movement toward autumn. He recognises the timeless necessity of life’s business, how much in common with another market he remembers in Egypt, yet he escapes suddenly from the endless aisles of hawkers and crowded corridors with impatience.

Perhaps of its own accord, who can know, is returned to him one of those magical formulas, which restore him to grace. In the unpleasing shape and form of an obese woman, in the less than pleasant manic words of a short squat man perhaps drunk, in the elegant beard and hat of a young Muslim man with his son and wife, in every face and aspect as he discerns particulars in individuals, often ugly, banal, petty particulars, he asks himself: 'Oh to be them?!' And transformed he finds an extraordinary compassion, beyond a mere acknowledgement in words, yet actualised in his "flesh-shrouded" soul through feeling. This sad and profound tenderness of his realizations, as he considerers, as he walks in their skin, places all his concerns for himself in their proper place. Hearts beating the same blood, each equally confronting the day, all avoiding discomfort, everyone searching. In this commonality of being he finds some solace for his boredom, his anxiety, even from his recent turmoil, the cutting of ‘the last tie that holds me here in Italy’, as he expressed to his now ex-lover as she broke with him the night before.

And this grace rediscovered, this guiding, ordering principle, this subtle, positive fuelling element residing somewhere in his chest: it does not answer his great question of his immediate future. He does not see beyond the remaining week: he still has his room, his privacy, but he soon must give that all up. And the work, the work of his life: he is unsure where to best direct his energies. The time critical, he ponders how to keep vigilant, how to understand the configurations of elements, how to ‘differentiate’ the conditions of this transition. He asks: 'But what do I really want? What is the right course? And where?’

Friday, August 12, 2005

Father, so much time has passed

Father, so much time has passed, years of effort of non-effort of laziness of desperation of quests for understanding. You left us, left me, left me defenceless against a cold world, was your cruelty your purposeful preparation this crystallising of spirit buffering me up, as they say you did of others, cleaving away the fat leaving essential meat essential will essential substance.

As your ashes rest there unseen, so do my efforts as well, efforts seemingly without traces without effect, efforts abandoned to the four winds. I’ve come to this point where no clear way stands before me. Had you found yourself facing darkness as well? Yet more terrifying confronting that door alone, so alone I could see as you lay there on the bed as you opened those eyes as if to say: “What still here are you all? I'm not back home?”, and then reality becomes the dream the dream reality and later…shit-covered in that stinking room as I beheld you who cast me to the world, to ignorance of my origin, my purpose hiden behind this presence, this body, unable to fly hardly able to run.
But you prepared me: we turn around one day and you are gone, then returning, never announced just arriving with your loneliness not admitting it but I could taste it like I sense my own despair announces itself, sings my isolation, paints my tiredness. And you gave me so little help: only in that final scene mixing shit and morphine and tears and your horror and in the end that small square wooden box. They handed me something for my tears as that song, that root song, brought it all home.

Sometimes I remember your rare playfulness, ironic almost giddy with your beer and some friend whimsically sizing me up, seeing my what, my potential my pain my shyness. Some joke you laid on me: who asked to be here who asked for this separation this place this cursed trash heap?

Did you give a damn about this heap? My road now to begin the preparation for the return, letting go of all concerns, all worries? Father I have tried but no one responds on the other end, like talking to dummies and mannequins it all seems so static, fixed, stuck except for pain is that why I bought that escape in every ten dollar bag mainlining my hope my joy, that sweet knowing feeling of safety at least until the next morning.

Well you said ‘I love you’ once, at least once even if it was nothing but a voice on a machine that counts in my scheme of things. I am sorry for my coolness my hardness sorry I could never return to say the same in return. Father wherever you are I know I will come there to join you and we will smile our shared embarassed smile, if there was some way to send help I know you would but this prayer for you, from me who stopped praying, I am searching for a new plan, the desert, the desert calls, this desert I will expand in my heart untouchable unseen in its silence and heat and vastness. Though there may be no escape except to lie down under the hot sun and in burning sand, burning light and fire in my heart but the will to succede I seem to have lost, even desire forsaken, here in my empty room just plainly and simply alone.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

This gift you give me

This gift you give me.

You bite your lip as you present the oil. Left to right and back and forth, grinding your hips. You seem slightly stoned, I don’t know if I like it more when you drop your eyes or when you look at me. Yet that look of naughtiness pleases. Thrusting your chest out, round and firm your breasts, your hand slides easily to embrace them, push them together where I want to place myself. Down, over your stomach two hands reach toward your sex. But you don’t touch it for me; throwing the hair off your face you look at me as if to say, 'Is this how you like me?' I feel your hands glide over your small soft, erect and oily nipples, don’t worry you are doing fine, you are doing me in, the way you repeat, then break your rhythm with sudden thrusts, dancing, and again challenging me with your 'take me' gaze. Squeezing your waist, several fast circling of hips, hands then on thighs...and a smile, that smile, what does it say, ‘oh you want me I am dancing for you, you will have me let’s build it now I see you seeing me, I want to touch me myself but I refrain, can I not touch it’…

Then slowly bending at the knees I lay down for you my ass touches the floor coolly I feel the oil between the wood and my body, my nakedness you make me grin this game we play I am your actress I’m here for you I open for you as you take yours out, and finally, you touch yourself...

Now you are over the chair and he comes behind you, anticipating, you both look at me, he is so hard I see you take it in your hand, laughing at his clumsiness, his hand on your hips, are you small is that why it takes a moment to start, and right away he is gently, yet firmly pushing, rocking you and you meet his with your own, you show that sweet painful grimace of pleasure almost letting go, riding that edge, your mouth open I finally hear your gasp, your constant meeting of flesh to flesh, you look behind you and up to see his pleasure, to show him yours. He raises himself higher as you arc you back even more, then I see you separating turning, going to sit for him now as he turns you, he wants your legs up high, that maximum vulnerability of your innocent sex…

You have changed into your pink dress for me and you sit beside me now taking me in your hand in your mouth I look at the camera I look at the TV news to be here but not here not giving in totally but wanting to wait to build this itch, you release it then take it deep against your cheek so soft so malleable I see you offering your eyes to those others watching that cold eternal machine And then you concentrate on the head teasingly on the delicate front ridge your hand firmly surely grasping down at the root, my root being then sliding that hand up and down working with your mouth I don’t watch my eyes glued to that stupid game but I feel every detail as in the dark…

You are over him now sitting. I jealously see him look satisfyingly at you, taking your buttocks in his hands. I wait for your skirt to hike up and he obligingly obeys with a flick of his wrist. I see his member bone hard, your flesh swallowing, sliding out almost and swallowed again, deep into your womb. I notice your high-heels black and I am frustrated wanting to release myself but wanting to wait for you. Pulling your sweater up finally, he undoes your bra and takes your falling breasts in his hands, then roaming to your hips and buttocks as you lean against the wall pushing, working his stiffness, thrusting and thrusting regularly and constantly, then sitting on him fully wriggling, then again working it over and almost out, taking and moving up then taking it all again. He spreads your cheeks, I can’t see well but I want to join you, the two of us having you. You both pause as he is throbbing, his jaw fallen open, you both looking at me now…

Why is he turning me now does he want me to face the camera oh I like to rest on his strong shoulders I stare into the lens I want to give in I need to let it all go this hair always falling I adjust my blouse how silly this is no fashion show but then he is busy in me pushing and I am pushing down and he up and down I want my eyes open but there is a pang of joyous pain I spread myself even more gasping I see you, so much you, so clearly now love in your eyes satisfaction in my pleasure holding by breasts, working them my heart beats fast I hold my hands to my head a caryatid over your sex I am, you change the channels while I ride you, in two places you, not me, just on you me bouncing rubbing cradling my blood filled chest my breath accelerates I feel your blood expanding also rising slowly surly oh do come the music's rhythm driving me its pulse like my own my heart my body oh I want it all, all yes gasping I am taking your strength your everything I slide now squeezing my button coming almost...

Fading out, watching me, her gift over.

Maybe it was simply her form

Maybe it was simply her form. It doesn’t always happen like this. I often – no, I sometimes sense a vibration, a corresponding harmony, a certain body recognition. Then, it happens, often, that I rest my eyes on the subject I have discerned from afar and the tremolo stops, no corresponding chords.

But not with her. Was it instantaneous? Was it pure lust? Colpa di fulmino (lightning striking)?

I studied her. Chestnut hair. Dark string of her thong so visible as her jean dress hung low. Her skin slightly tanned and the visible flesh of her hips seen from behind. The way she would put back on the shoulder a fallen bra strap. Her rather thin legs as I drew closer to seemingly search for a book. Did I reach to touch them? How I wanted. Could I smell her? Oh I surely could: every soul sense was acutely honed. My heart beat hard and fast; my facial ticks impatiently wanted to express themselves. I secetly gave them full reign. I don’t believe I had even seen clearly her face. Not important. Yet when I did; was I disillusioned? Initially yes. But then: O the mysterious and unfathomable complexity of the human face.

My first impression was, OK, this one I could make it with easily. Though how can I yet describe the moment I decided, that I knew: it is her. What was it in her somewhat sour look, her slightly upturned nose, her delicate yet grounded presence? The way she carried her self? A certain conscious ease yet animal naturalness? God how plainly, sublimely sexy, yes. Physically I was moved, shaken through to the core as so rarely happens.

I had looked at the computer to see what she was searching for. Japanese art. Then the mating habits kicked in: circling, gazing, approaching, moving away. Little did these physical actions convey the movement of thought, of adrenaline, of hope, of my loneliness and its dams and walls I was struggling to maintain, to keep desperation in check.
My blood raced!

So I followed. I dodged around: how many times did I stand beside her! Why couldn’t I speak! I am sure she was aware of my presence. Maybe our eyes had met: yes, she blessed me accross from the bookshelves as I looked through some large book on Poor Art. Horrible stuff, all conceptual, pitiful art

I did not want to be a bother: I wanted to be princely, gallant, to wait for a sign that her gates were open. What anguish and torment this dance. Finally I plopped myself down in a chair to wait for her exit. Positioning myself so that she would have to pass by me: full and frontal.

She comes, she’s hesitates; a few steps to her right. Is she making believe to be searching for something? Now she moves forward; my gaze lifts toward her. Oh that walk: it stabs my being! Please just look over and I will carry you off in my wings!

She’s waiting in line now with her DVD’s. I will stand here at the video screens here in the foyer and make like I am watching CNN.

Hai tro…tro trovato qualcosa? I shamefully stuttered! (Did you find something?)
Si, she said turning, as she passed me.

Later that smile told all. It has inspired and haunted me through my self-incriminations, of my cowardice; has soothed my anger and lamatations. It has sustained me. Can she know? Know that this thread of hope I desperately weave into my being, that this dear trinket sustains me as I wander through the labyrinth of streets, streets that mock me in their hostile permanence, baiting me to hurry, reminding me of the day’s passing, of my life passing, of my desperation and sorrow, streets that laugh as they taunt me: You will never find her! Can she know the fire kindled in me? And does she hope?

I remain defiant, at times bitterly so, though sometimes one can see a glimmer of a smile, a spark of contentment on the face of this divine fool.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What is a Seraph?

Seraph: A celestial being having three pairs of wings.

"The name Seraphim clearly indicates their ceaseless and eternal revolution about Divine Principles, their heat and keenness, the exuberance of their intense, perpetual, tireless activity, and their elevative and energetic assimilation of those below, kindling them and firing them to their own heat, and wholly purifying them by a burning and all- consuming flame; and by the unhidden, unquenchable, changeless, radiant and enlightening power, dispelling and destroying the shadows of darkness"

The name "Seraphim" does not come from charity only, but from the excess of charity, expressed by the word ardor or fire. Hence Dionysius (Coel. Hier. vii) expounds the name "Seraphim" according to the properties of fire, containing an excess of heat. Now in fire we may consider three things.
"First, the movement which is upwards and continuous. This signifies that they are borne inflexibly towards God.

"Secondly, the active force which is "heat," which is not found in fire simply, but exists with a certain sharpness, as being of most penetrating action, and reaching even to the smallest things, and as it were, with superabundant fervor; whereby is signified the action of these angels, exercised powerfully upon those who are subject to them, rousing them to a like fervor, and cleansing them wholly by their heat.

"Thirdly we consider in fire the quality of clarity, or brightness; which signifies that these angels have in themselves an inextinguishable light, and that they also perfectly enlighten others." Seraphim are beings of pure light and have direct communication with God. They resonate with the fire symbolically attached to both purification and love. The etymology of "seraphim" itself comes from the word saraph. Saraph in all its forms is used to connote a burning, fiery state. Seraphim, as classically depicted, can be identified by their having six wings radiating from the angel's face at the center."

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