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Archive for the ‘Death and Dying’ Category

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letters and fragments from the dead

 

Writing is a moral act.

 

Ethics and the psyche are part of every letter that falls from the pen or emerges from a depressed key.

 

This is how we remember it: the shadow falling over the side of the mountain, the side we couldn’t see, and then the sun fell from view and the moon rose. It was almost the last quarter, the day before—we had looked it up—after the full moon, a Super Moon, the previous Saturday.

 

We had gone into a bookstore on our street and seen the newly published novel of a woman we knew years ago. There was a cat in the bookstore but we didn’t see her.

 

It was the first cool day, with heavy, dark clouds but it didn’t rain. We stood on the corner for an hour and a half talking.

 

The dead speak in words, too. They speak through us and with us. There is this life and, alongside, this death. They are wound together. The air is full of breath and unbreath. One time, there was a whole procession of the dead in front of me—they appeared as they would appear in a photograph, dressed up, wearing hats, dark clothing, and carrying bags and purses. Their eyes shone and they had come to talk to me, about becoming unwound from them, letting go, the ritual of unbinding. They said all they wanted was for me to live a free and happy life. They wanted me to let go of grieving for them and for me to know that my place was exactly where I was, not with them. Living for so many years with the dead, I could see them clearly and heard their words distinctly, as they were spoken. Then I wrote them down, here.

 

This day, Friday, was a release. I write for the dead who are long gone, and for myself. There are wings of insects inside me, gray in the light that comes in from the mouth, when it opens to speak, and the light in the middle of the forehead when it expands. Light comes in and the wings are translucent. I write for those who can’t speak and for myself, when I can’t speak. Writing out of the silence, of the silence, taking measurements for the words that will be written from one wall to the other, factoring in shadows thrown by figures that have emerged from the boundaries. Writing as a measurement of silence. Writing moves the water outside the window. Writing collects the dust and specimens from the floor and windowsill and chandeliers.

 

Writing is an act of solace, a movement from isolation to relationship, a knowledge of the world as of the body and nonbody—the corporeal and ghost. We are figures in the emerging dust—sun-day—measuring the tallest building against huts on the beach. Here are my words, and they come from my womb and my bones and my blood, and what I have held and what I hold and what I release. These are measurements as if for a dress or a suit. We know these clothes. We fabricate our stories in the threads and wear them out to important occasions. We have tea. We eat meals with strangers, half-smiling over our forks at half-formed structures behind their heads.

 

This Friday, this particular day, just was. In the being of the day, I could breathe, for once. Real breath that sustained me. Breath that filled the lungs and allowed me to sleep for the first time in weeks. This is the companionship of those who are always around. I found pieces of paper towel all over the house, on a nail, on a screw, behind the toothbrush holder, after she cleaned. They looked like white moth wings. I picked them up and threw them out, noticing their delicate texture and their beauty. There is wholeness that is found when more and more pieces come to us.

 

When was the first time we saw the invisible world? We saw its lights twinkle in deep blue, violet, light blue, Saturn red, Spring grass green. No real forms were present until our eyes adjusted to the eternal twilight. Maybe we were at the top of the earth, true North. We were at the place our souls brought us. Our souls, these creatures of the deep, dark terrarium we called consciousness. That which we were not aware of making hand shadows on the walls. Dictionaries of silhouette and semaphor. And upon arriving at our true North, their true shapes emerged.

 

“We are not shapeshifters in the way you are used to defining shapeshifters. The music is different here.”

 

 

 

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The sleeping dances with images of the Devil. The Tarot cards reveal what has not yet been fully understood. August light is hot and dense, usually—but this summer has been mild, with nights getting cool and we’ve been able to open windows. Insomnia is like this—a deep, dark devil that uncurls itself like smoke. Not invisible, it is seen by the naked eye and startles us as we drift off. This is part of the Dreamland.

 

Here is the part that floats—the burned part of the skin that becomes numb. This is from being hurt one too many times so that all the petals close tightly around the bud. There is still light. There is always light. We’ve learned this. Through weather and trees and autumn and summer and depression and grief. The light is always there.

 

We feel it in our thumbs, as we stretch out our hands after a long afternoon of writing. We visit the wild grasses in times of war. We know war in our bones, the way we know peace. The air is gray with anxiety and the clouds are heavy. The rain comes and lightning and thunder. For several hours in the morning, the sky is bright and baby blue, the color of an innocence that no longer exists in the human realm. But then we come back to the place where the soul starts, an overgrown path, thick with weeds and large, flat, round stones. We make our way through the tall and taller foliage, the leaves are glorious and lush and a shade of green from the time when the earth was just born. This is where the path starts. We hear the low moan of unknown animals.

 

This is the way the earth changes. The earth and the soul. The way the trees bow away from each other to let in viscous rays of sunlight. Honey-thick, they pour down through this newly discovered ancient forest as we get lost on the unmarked trails.

 

The war has ended in one place and begins in another. We are hopeful people. We begin again and again, in a state of peace. We continue to breathe as others cease. Their breaths become part of a blanket that is held between earth and sky, disintegrating into stars and blackness, the eternal dark spaces that hold death.

 

We open up into a noncorporeal form without form, just light. The light becomes brighter and brighter. We stay here, floating and emitting, for a while. Then we return to do our work on the earth.

 

There are three worlds, at least. There are many worlds. We live with our feet on the ground of the earth and our lungs breathing in the air of the heavens. The air of the atmosphere. We build things. We tear them down. We are our own history and everyone else’s. We share heritage and identity and we are our own heritage and identity. We come to a place where it is cold and no one is there. We light a fire on our own in the vast, horizonless tundra. It is 60 below. We have on a parka and the only part of our form that is visible is our eyes, full of warmth and humanity and sight. The fire is bright and warm. We connect with our own soul again.

 

We find a pattern in the snow, in the sand, in the dirt. We trace it with our fingers, with a stick, with a branch. We become fossils. We crumble into the earth. These are our graves. These are our graves, filling with dirt as the people above ground sing and pray. They will bring food they cooked to the house for a week. The family will look through a veil of grief that will then fall apart to let in some light. For a while, the curtains and shades will always be drawn. Then one day, someone will tie them back and pull the string to raise the olive green cloth into accordion pleats at the top of each window.

 

We find a way to hold death against the window as a silhouette, a paper doll taking the shape of the inanimate. The animate taking the form of the inanimate. Sleep taking the form of a kind of death, beating against the windows as rain, as tree branches, as wind. The dead communicating with the living. We drift off to sleep to the sound of cars on the streets outside, idling at the traffic light then engines starting up again, driving away in the direction that all sound moves, toward silence and the dimension that exists beyond human thought. The place where death and life are indistinguishable and we have a cup of coffee on the sandstone balcony overlooking all the cities that have ever been.

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The Living

 

 

When thinking about one’s personal memories, it’s hard to know which to keep inside, to one’s self, and which to write about so that they are out in the world, in a public manuscript, which could be read by others. I am specifically now recalling hanging out as a pre-adolescent in the apartment complex on the edge of the suburban township-Philadelphia city divide. I don’t remember the faces of my friends, the memories are dusky and unfinished, but with deep emotion and formative atmosphere, the kind of whole experience that subsumes itself into one’s being, one’s skin, and is developmentally integral.

 

 

I remember putting pennies on the train tracks and watching the trains barrel over the tracks, then picking the flattened copper disc off the hot tracks. The vibration of those hurtling trains, the stone steps overhung with fragrant honeysuckle, which we used to pick and from which we sucked out the sweet nectar. This was pre-sexual but desire and the awareness of boys rippled through my body. I was on the edge of adolescence, scrawny, fast, with preternatural energy and excitement about everything. One evening, the sky was just growing dark, and one of the older boys, Dan, sat with me on the steps of one of the apartment buildings in the complex. As we sat looking at the makeshift baseball diamond, he asked me if I knew what the bases were then proceeded to tell me what each of them represented in sexual terms. I don’t remember what I was thinking but I know now that he wanted to kiss me and I was blithely unaware. I got up and went inside to my apartment and don’t remember anything else about him. I remember I was reading The Outsiders just like we all were and I imagined our suburban apartment complex as the setting for The Outsiders and all of us as the characters. I remember our apartment being broken into and the police coming and covering everything with white dust, which looked so surreal, and the feeling of fear, but in a muted way. I didn’t really understand what had happened, and was just looking at the police go through the house, in their uniforms with heavy leather belts and guns hanging from holsters, and everything covered in haunting white powder.

 

 

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Are all of these potent and private memories to be kept to myself or is there some value and meaning in writing about them? The girl I was, the skinny, energetic girl who was full of movement and spark, she is important. Because a year later, everything would change for me. I would no longer be carefree and skinny. I would have breasts and hips that made my own body a hindrance to me, and foreign, somewhere I felt I didn’t belong, and I would go through a trauma that would stay with me for the rest of my life. The fact that these two monumental changes happened at the same time glued them together somehow, in a way I have been trying to pull apart for years. The trauma held in my body, as if burned into eternal form by volcanic ash.

 
The Dead

 

 

And now in New York. Walking in the South Slope in Brooklyn.

 

We are all apparitions. We carry the dead inside us. We take care of them. Following the road through the cemetery, we saw headstones and Celtic crosses, big mausoleum stone–the city of the dead overlooking the crazy New York skyline, as if all the souls wandering around are living. The city of the dead overlooking the city of the living. The winding footpaths and lush green of early summer grass–or late Spring, as we’ve been lucky this year to have some Spring–through these resting places. The names burn with the lives of those buried here. The hills of the cemetery. The blue sky and perfect white clouds after a week of thunder and rain. Pouring rain, pounding against the windows last night, furious and banishing all the old spirits who would take up residence here. Today, the helpful spirits were in attendance and walked with us. Such solace and soft footsteps they have, such grace and gentleness. The dead speak in whispers and contain everything, are everything, the roses in their blooming prime, the scent of them hallucinatory, another world created through the glass of the diner where we sat for hours because the waitress had forgotten our order.

 

The glass of the window looking out onto 5th Avenue like a mirror or telling glass—fortune-telling, spun from angels’ wings—through this glass, I had a déjà vu—and knew this was one of the moments of my life that was fated. But, in the absence of such direct experiences, the divine is always present. And in the ravel of experience, we glimpse beyond the glass another world that exists alongside this one, where the dead love us and watch over us and hold our dreams for us when we no longer can. Our strength returns and we remember who we are, the wind, the ground, the sunlight, the fury of the rain, and we return to ourselves. Our true selves, filled with light and power and connected to the divine. Able to recognize those divine souls that travel with us, that sew the cloth of our lives with us, those who see our souls and love us in all our anchors and jetties.

 

LadyLiberty

 

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I read a gorgeous article on Art Blart recently about the photography of Walker Evans. In it, he cites an article by Thomas Sleigh about Tomas Tranströmer, Too Much of the Air (see links below).

In it, Sleigh writes:

My first glimpse of Tomas Tranströmer was many years ago in Provincetown, Massachusetts as he ducked his head under the metal lip of a twelve-seater plane’s exit door, then stepped hesitantly down the stairs to firm ground. He seemed a little shaken, his long face blanched, his features reminding me, when I think of it now, of the circus horse in a late Bonnard painting: gentle, wary, potentially sad. “I don’t mind large planes or middle-sized planes (his English was slightly gutteral, his intonations lilting in a mild brogue), but small planes—you feel too much of the air under you.” That remark, direct, plainspoken, but also flirting with the metaphysical, has seemed over the years a keyhole into his work: a void; a sense of hovering above that void; the nerves registering each tremor with precision; the mind fighting back the body’s accelerating fear.

Thomas Sleigh’s article:

https://www.poets.org/m/dsp_poem.php?prmMID=19009 

Art Blart:

http://artblart.com/2014/02/20/exhibition-walker-evans-american-photographs-at-the-museum-of-modern-art-moma-new-york/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ArtBlart+Art+Blart

The void always there, hovering—our bodies.

And how, my whole life, I’ve been afraid of things being taken away. This is a pretty natural fear, primal, human, animal—everyone has a survival instinct for both themselves and whom they love. What made the difference in my life was that people told me this would happen. That I would lose everything and everyone. The way this was presented to me was that this was a fact. I was very young when people started telling me this. And as I write this, it sounds like the beginning of a good detective novel or a psychological thriller, exciting, terrifying in the way of terror when you’re lying cozy in your bed, reading or watching TV. But when people you trust tell you that what is happening on the screen will happen to you if you don’t do certain things, that you are patently unsafe because of who you are, who you were born, that instills a habitual terror that never quite leaves you. Or that you spend a lifetime confronting and healing, over and over again.

The body reveals what the conscious mind doesn’t.

My nerves fighting with the air: delicate underbelly, sky’s reaching. I was never certain what was air or ground. These are terrors, fully embodied, but unspoken for many years. And it is raining outside now.

Of course, it is not raining inside.

Get it down on paper. This refuses the chugging blood pressure as the plane soars upward.

The red brick of the brownstones. Rain comes down on snowed-in cars.

When days change you, you give them space, give yourself time and space around that day. I spent the next two days after lying in bed, watching TV and resting. The first day, I wash the dishes. On the second day, I take out the trash, clean out the fridge.

Some days change you. I bought a battery-powered radio with my uncle on Tuesday. I put it on the tray I have on the heater on the side of my bed near the windows. The seated painted-black Buddha is in front of it, along with a red velvet box containing condoms, earbuds for the Roku, and Chapstick, a tarot deck, four remotes, a coaster.

It has been a week of seeing behind the veil of things— one veil, plural things. Got my blood drawn for annual tests on Monday, went through old papers and calendars and maps belonging to my great uncle on Tuesday. Maps of Africa and Poland and Europe and Maine and Peak’s Island, where his son now lives, a lobsterman, and where he and two wives used to summer. We found Xeroxed, stapled papers with a typed family tree, done simply in Times typeface with lines and arrows, and going for maybe five pages, each generation going further into the present as we turned the pages. Along with this very basic family tree were some marriage records from Bialystok, Poland, and three handwritten pages in Polish, in beautiful script. Inscrutable because neither of us know Polish. Lists of things to do, to buy in his late wife’s handwriting, business cards, typewritten lists of her paintings, with name and price, letters from her gallery about sales, the letter from the gallery of two paintings sold at her last show, put on after she died. Letters from about twenty organizations, human rights, animal rights, environmental, asking for money.

The deep, good heart of my great uncle, the way he cares about the world, really made an impression on me. I’ll never forget it. I see my father in him, see where in the bloodline this connection to the world comes from, this faith that ties us all together within the same fate, animals, humans, continents, lands. This knowing I grew up with and never doubted that we are all one and, that if one suffers, all do. This has been in me since before I could articulate it. The week of lost things. Lost things returning. Things we don’t even know are lost. He warmed up coffee from the morning, left on the coffee maker, and turned the machine on to heat it up. It was very good, actually. Tasted strong. What a strange, strange world we live in and our lives, too, are weird because they’re so intense and overwhelming, we fade in and out of them, hallucinate, remember and experience at the same time—memory and history and the present all at the same time—my legs ached after a while, standing at the table we were clearing for hours. At some point, my uncle sat down, exhausted by the standing as much as the weight of history.

We had a beautiful conversation that lasted all day. We talked about insomnia and waking up in the early morning—he said he listens to the radio, BBC News, news from around the world, and it makes him feel connected, even though a lot of the news is sad and sometimes awful, it makes him feel like he’s not giving up on the world. I will remember this for the rest of my life.

As we do, we change. It is inevitable. It is this inevitability that moves us forward towards grasp and branch. The dusk of forefathers and foremothers. Where does it say that the window’s light is not the breath of land? We are the open of the land. We creature permanency. There is no permanent redaction of the past. It holds us, trembling, in its little-bird branches. We are sewn into it. Sunlight picks through the underbranches creating force and catapulting loss into new fields. These fields of light destroy. Packed-in dirt from centuries of war and blood cold now, Addresses of the Wild Permanency, home now. We are not dead. We have lived with the dead for too long now. We let them go into a place we can’t follow. We look after them, as they blend into the surroundings, becoming less and less physical, to abandon all light by becoming part of the light. These creature-fields.

We are torn apart by light. We are torn apart by war.

We taper like candles.

Things have been really intense lately. Coming boom boom boom. Like firecrackers, leaving me deaf and blind for moments after the blasts, seeing rings and stars. Quavering and indulging in solitude. Processing or, more accurately, letting be what life is. Minutes pass gently, in relative silence. The rain helps. Opened all the windows and let in the fresh, clear air. Spring is coming!

Life is changing shape again. Shapeshifting. It does this. And every time, I’m sad, I resist, I feel such a deep sense of loss that I think I’ll fall into it. It’s hard, these changes. A lot is lost. Illusions, relationships, ways of seeing myself and the world. Right now, I’m at the beginning, or maybe the middle, of acceptance. I’m aware and I accept that certain things will never be the same.

Maybe this pain leads me again to where I need to go. Maybe with this mouth—with this dream—expressed without malady.

I’ve lost so much. Sometimes it seems everything is loss. The sky protrudes with it, the belly bloats with it, the speaking crows rebel into flock-dragons in a separating sky—where all separates into light and dark and the divine opens into itself, the huge mouth of destiny. I build and build and long periods of tearing down. I try to build things steady and strong, with brick-and-mortar foundations—all of this is impermanent and breaks my heart over and over again. Flocks of seabirds, city birds. The kiss is fleeting. Lips touch and fade. Bodies come together and break apart. This is what happens. A simple fact. All of this is certain. There will always be loss. But of the times in between that loss, the brightness is almost blinding. Loss and brightness make a whole—sweet as an egg—nest—

Poem or prose, it comes out the same. I’ve realized this, after months of writing against my natural grain—or what I thought was against—in sentences, that sequester lines—the problem is not form, but truth—where truth holds banister and crows—but the windows hold strong, the glass is steady in them, when it rattles, the wind always coming—I still have a house—language.

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What is the language of kindness, the one that has no words but resides inside us like a body within a body?

 

I am starting to live in this place. The one of kindness, not of fear and worry. I wonder so much about stability and impermanence and what they mean, how they show up in life. Why is it that we can feel stable and can’t build stable structures? That life sometimes feels as if it’s built on quicksand and crumbles regularly? Is this impermanence? Is this the soluble nature of things, that they sustain for the period they are meant to and then dissipate, dissolve, decay and become something else entirely? The becoming something else entailing a shape so alien to what was before that there is no comfort there, the body is still the body, animal, plant, human, breathing, gravity-bound, but the emotional attachment has nowhere to go, floats in space like an ache of itself. This is grieving, this is loss.

 

In spite of this loss, this amassed loss gathering in the heart, I am starting to live from courage, not fear. Living from fear amounts to not living, living halfway, stuck in a place, half-body. Who wants to live like that? I am finally consumed by what is most important and what has always been most important to me—to love. This has been a conscious goal. Loving is its own thing. It exists in all permutations and even outlives the dead. Because we still love the dead.

 

Their voices, once remnants, ashes found after everything is burned to the ground and the ground becomes itself again, in previous incarnations of dead ground—the sound of what remains, how it holds presence over us until we find some way of speaking for these ashes. And then it’s like this also—that we give our voices to those who are silenced and have no voice. This is also what it means to witness; to give voice to; to tell the stories of the voiceless.

 

I take the words of other women as strength. They make me strong. They shelter and they light. I am strong because of all the women before me who were strong. This is lineage and bequeathing and legacy. The mesh of inner worlds leaves ashes in its wake. The secret voices and letters and pains that connect us. The pain we don’t speak of, or maybe we half-speak of, or maybe we tell it all, an egg, cooked to where the shell breaks. We break so openly but sometimes the invisibility of our breaking makes it seem like we’re still whole and we want to believe that so much, we boil water for tea and go on as if nothing is removed or torn from us. We are whole in this place—this place of silence and speech that is our freedom. We make wilderness out of terror and courage—we are Home in the landscape. We prepare for wars but devote most of our tongue to peace. How does this work after a while, after the tunics and flags are stretched so taut, they show the outlines of faces and bodies and ghosts? How does this work, to remain silent when our bodies shudder for want and desire? What is this desire? Where in us does it live? In the shadow between fortresses, between ribs, aching and melancholy in the spine, in our tendons and bones, we reach forward out of not occupying space as partial recompense for drawing breath and having been born, to occupy our bodies and lives as fully as moths and otters and the light and water they seek. We are our own nourishment.

 

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We toil in emptying our heads of ashes. Mothers and fathers fall asleep every night before cooking for their families.

 

When did these beings become so elusive, Light as fireflies trapped in a body. Fireflies in glass backs. We can see them flying around in there.

 

More and more, I am surrounded by strong, clear-voiced women, standing in their own bodies and their own power. They have a quiet about them and fire seems to burn off their skins. They are warriors and move with a stillness that can only be the stillness of conscious movement. They are their own counsel but listen deeply and with the utmost openness to others.

 

When women are ghosts. What refuges are left? Truth sustains us. Occupying our bodies sustains us. Love sustains us. But how do we recognize these? How do we know they are not transmogrifications of pored- through atoms that are so porous, they have ceased to exist? Sometimes the things that have ceased to exist are the most powerful. Death sustains us and gives us the language to use to start expressing ourselves from the bare skeletons of life, from the blood aches that make our hearts beat. Grief sustains us, measuring time in loss and conscience. We feel for one another, we console, we gather empathy as browning flowers from a field, knowing their beauty at every stage, now, when they’re fading away from themselves.

 

Our mothers taught us to be a strong women. Our fathers taught us to be strong men. We are confused about what “strong” means and are always considering the ways to be “strong.” Does it mean it’s your duty to bear all the hardship around you? Does it mean knowing when it’s not yours to bear and witnessing it but not hauling it around on your back? And how do you tell the difference and, once you tell these different loads and weights apart, how do you maneuver, how do you distinguish and measure, what are our responsibilities as witnesses? How much of life’s horror do we carry around with us?

 

There is so much we can’t write about, have been forbidden to write about and we honor that prohibition—but it’s like balancing the weight of ghosts that don’t have any weight. This prohibition is a link between us and our family, those whose secrets we have sworn to keep. But it is not easy keeping secrets. They weigh and bow inside, attribute mass in semaphoric patterns–but we love them and keep our promises. It is hard, though, as we reach parts of ourselves, our memories, our desires for the future, and think about and experience harder, deeper and more traumatic subjects and life events and heritage without being allowed to reference the origins. We can open these up with honor and respect and still keep our inner lives.

 

In this vein, I am wondering how to write about the raw places, reading Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds, about her mother’s blank journals like an extra heartache after a first death. What is voice? What is silence? Feeling sad and not letting the sadness settle because we are sick of this particular sadness, the ache to be with the people we love, with a love as passionate as the earth, where our bodies are the earth, their bodies are the earth—and looking for them as they disappear over and over again. We can go through life restless and frustrated and, mostly, exhausted. Tired of pretending we are upbeat all the time, when some days, we are just knocked down by the longing. We feel an active longing that is searching for those lost to us, doing the work for us, but we lie in bed awake or asleep or walk or rearrange our cupboards or closets, our hunger to be settled—if not in a place, then with those we love—constant because the ground under us shifts and shifts again.

 

As we find our power as women, as we find our power as men, the people who are our hearts find their way to us. This is the way it has to be. We see them because we have found our place in the world and own our own power and sustain ourselves there. We are our lives and our bodies, and because of this, we learn to love, over and over again.

 

The people who show up in our lives day by day and are there, the people who go through our lives with us are the people who matter.

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They are the living proof of the curtains between worlds, when the windows are open. There is snow and the light is water, becomes water and returns to its remains.

*

Nothing less than the world.

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The Pioneers

Yet another as lush as foul play — limbs of the tree, centaur, granite in early evening light falling as stars would fall at the end of everything. I think about death a lot, it’s a practice, like a grid through which gravity and light fall.

 

Birds are buried in rows for easy carrion. The dead bury in rows. I am washed clean of ashes. This is the way nature reveals the intertwining of life and death and ecological economy. Nothing is lost or wasted, everything preserved and utilized to feed where there is hunger, to occupy spaces where there is destitution. Nature takes care of itself.

 

Yet another plush volley. — antlers recanting their reach.

 

I woke up in the middle of a field.

 

I swear. You are a tower.

I will show you as if your arms fling wide above me —

templed, steepled, guarded.

 

Everything has to go into a certain container with an uncertain future and a past like legs curled under a sitting woman. There is advantage to this, the way opposites polarize and attract. Sitting on different stones, facing each other in an ionized sea. The hound retreats. The shadow is gold-hinged.

 

And now because in that dull fire, he failed to spot a dove.

 

I am below ceilings and below emptiness.

 

I am in charge of regeneration.

 

I am the alien inspector for inquiring atoms. This requires a cereal box and some twigs—a nest of sorts to house reincorporating cells and molecules. This is all science. Hidden in a box, we find the needed flowers and electrical wires.

 

I fall off the wire into the sea. The water is deep and magical. Blue and autumnal. Winter hasn’t settled in yet. The water is based in an albumen scent of horizon and memory. I owe so much to Lem.

 

A pure infinite field comprehended to asps of the hovering quality of faith. This is an abstract, piled on by motion of feathered hands and many mechanical flies.

 

I inquire below the dust to find secret protons. The surge an incantation.

 

 

Homestead

 

I don’t feel alone for the first time in many months. It’s time to buy the whiskey and the tools. There is much to be done in this autumn harness—that the way the days flow is disappearance of multitudes into death. Winter is a beautiful death, the longer sleep affording us hibernation and hiddenness from all open lights—except the dazzling winter sun on snow.

 

I want to walk and walk and walk.

 

With meditative breaks in the atmosphere—we fill our fellow balloons.

 

Sleep like an angel. The angels help us. We feel their presence like translucent flies. There are no flies anymore, or not as many. This is where poems start–the disappearance of things. We are all aging now. We see age on our faces. What beautiful animals we are. I have known these people so long that we are growing old together, although we are all still young.

 

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A biologist defines life, or determines it, by a series of divergent paths–the capability to think for one’s self, or sentience. Nocturnal soil is one such life. This takes into account leaves and how green they are and how they train towards sunlight to survive — there is a survival mechanism, a live instinct, to survive. It’s mechanical in the way it is physically embodied and requires the use and presence of musculoskeletal or similar systems. The error of life can never be. We are all patterned forms of the inevitable.

 

You never know what is going to lead to writing or orgasm so you follow all suits: quartz, hearts, spades, arrows, diamonds, clubs, pentacles, staves, swords and cups.

 

The road is stained dirt-red and the sky is onyx. The opacity projects a feeling of endurance — the endurance of darkness and light, palomino, unanswerable. The mystic insouciance. These mystic sounds from under the carpet or sidewalk; the truth is out there.

 

A moored, feathered balloon. (tethered)

 

But then you are left alone with food and you eat as if you’ve starved for forty years. The incalescence of horror fills your eyes.

 

One must read and write. One has mists and, from them, sun. One has pulmonary return and flowering lymph nodes.

 

You have clarified grammar. That is, where the dead are buried, because it’s like words, you think you’re in a song but the trees are dark and disappear like water. I am so far down. The tongue of the water is cold and I am deep into it, into this lake. I am a pattern of forests destroyed by fire; — the fires are natural, you say, in distress of all the ashtrays you left burdened by cigarettes and ashes. You left me.

 

The dead are hungry.

 

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