Saturday, October 31, 2015

late october, and the tamarack step forward from the evergreens, in flames

this metaphor is not mine;

the man i love, the beloved, the heart in sympathy with my own,
these children who have sent me into this parental wilderness,
this arvo part, this songster, this ventriloquist, this prophet,
this egg - desire, these fractures - tears, this lightning figment - eye,
is not mine.

what then belongs to me?

the tamarack lean forward, and keen through colour into embers. i touch my skin, 
a flame passing through flames.

Friday, October 30, 2015

exigent, this: that

words such as desire or need
- requirement

the body born of the bowl
the bowl born of the node which was born of the body

always the mind seeking the word
always the word seeking the body

i could say, i go to the woods to return home
but i'd have to add, i'm coming, but i'll not arrive

jack pine, red pine, pitch pine, hackmatack
a knife in the hand, a blind blade hacking

always the via negativa
always the shadows of the firs


this time of living is a bereavement. (i am bereft. are you bereft?)

this bereavement opens a time and a space for living.

***

i am looking for it. what we have lost. i am mad for it.

in the mornings i put earplugs in. i go to words. the words of others. the open field of words, pretending they are my own. lately i have longed for horse blinders. what do i try to erase in order to sense, to hear, to see?

i want hunger to fashion me. i want austerity to find whatever is the blade in me.

will it be silver? if and when it becomes apparent, will i have eyes enough to see it? 

***


In the evening I took the key so that I could come in late, without being bound to time. The moon was not up, and I strolled along by the green waters of the Thièle. But feeling inclined for long musing, and finding it warm enough to stay out all night, I took the road to Saint-Blaise. I left it again at a little village called Marin, which has the lake to the south, and descended a steep slope to the sand on which the waves were breaking. The air was calm; not a trace of haze was visible on the lake. Everybody was asleep; forgetful, some of labours, others of griefs. The moon appeared; I stayed on and on. Towards morning she diffused over land and water the exquisite melancholy of her last beams. Nature seemed grand indeed, as one heard in one's long meditation the roll of the waves on the lonely shore, in the calm of a night still glowing with the radiance of a dying moon.

Inexpressible responsiveness, alike the charm and torment of our idle years, profound sense of a Nature everywhere overwhelming and everywhere inscrutable; infinite passion, ripened wisdom, ecstatic self-surrender, everything a human heart can hold of need and utter weariness, I felt them all, sounded the depths of all, during that memorable night. I took an ominous stride towards the age of decline; I swallowed up ten years of my life. Happy the simple-minded man whose heart is always young !

There, in the quiet of the night, I questioned my problematic destiny, my storm-tossed heart, and that incomprehensible Nature which includes all things and yet seems not to include the satisfactions of my desires. What in the world am I? said I to myself....

from Obermann, Étienne Pivert de Senancour

Thursday, October 29, 2015

how much verbing is enough?

how many poems do you need to read? 
how many shit poems do you need to write?

my daughter uses poetry as a verb.
she says i poem.

she has a serious disdain for poetry. 
she has a serious disdain for doing.

she has a not so secret disdain for me. 
she shelters her love for me inside it.

every morning my face breaks through 
the smothering waters into another day.

my daughter and i slog the same world.
malaise is her weapon. poetry is mine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Autumn's Epoch





Walk into the hallowed silence, which is not silence.
Let it take you in.

Let the matches flare to your ear's hollow by the red squirrel preaching.

Know the grouse roosting back, squatly, in the forest of your eardrum.

While the woodpecker knocks steadfastly in the foreground on heaven's door 
with no answer. He is nearly an inanimate knocker. 

It's our souls which shout, Let us in!

Last of autumn's leaves rotting on the ground, last leaf rubbing on a limb.

Then hooked on the empty sky shelf, a punky poplar's limb, releasing itself, 
a muted stone's earthbound thrust declaration.

Witness the epoch - how many years in the making? 

Crow, you know our faces already. We hardly know our skin.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Seed is a Riven Thing

Now it is time to turn from the spectral world of words

And strike the axe,
Split the atom,
Grind the grain.

No apple in the pie is deep enough.
No worm on the hook incised just right.
No needle sunk through cloth can create the required garment.

Jesus on the cross was not about things of the body being saved, but about salvation.
Salvation splits across the eyes as a tremor of terror and pain.
Salvation shoots inside the tender lap of one, from the tender lap of another.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dendrochronology and a Little Ice Age

Five months! he says.
Ten full hours of my life,
And all that expectation!

I cried at the end, he tenders.

I look it up, "A Strange Life,"
The story of a game
Or the game of a story,
Techno myth building
With an invitation for complicity,
A lamentation of choices,
A heady dose of dizzying nostalgia.

My son was five when he taught himself
How to climb a tree, determined.
It was never about the tree he was climbing.

We watched from the wings.

Before he learned, he was driven.
When he learned, he tried to appear nonchalant,
But there was a drunken glee in his eyes
Every bit as sharp as a boring bit,
A kind of fateful mastering he couldn't subvert.

At his desk now, in his father's house, he's as determined;
Computer system, desk, lamp,
Ergonomically branched out around him,
Controller in hand. 
It's a ghost landscape outside.

The wings I wait in are further.

Donald Rust Currey, you did what you did
Because you couldn't help your nature;
Add in accident, bad luck and time.
You called it WPN-114; counted five thousand years.
It was we who named it Prometheus.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

white

twilight sits
still
for an instant
equally
early morning
and late evening
balancing 
what passes
through 
her eye
 
night 
or day
not yet a muscled animal
braces
delicately
upon a pin
about to be 
made
or unmade

in this 
immeasurable
but essential moment
fine white light
the world over
holds like glass
on water
without sulliment
or story

and then 
the egret
works its wings
takes flight
the light 
at her laddered toes
breaking into—
rose
or gold

black

sweaters
books 
and 
perfumes

wine-lit light of chiaroscuro
chagall blues 

ticket stubs
handwritten notes 
and feathers

nin's lovers
rilke's poems and letters

driftwood
leaves 
and cedar
bones

the empty seas
the well-stocked home

the midnight hour
the past
the clock

the beach
the bird
the wooden dock

stop coveting 
i tell myself
stop coveting 

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Mother And Her Two Children, A Holy Trinity Of: How Do You Pronounce Your Vowels?

"When the quality is exceedingly high, it exceeds the limit of the form."
Arvo Pärt, And Then Came the Evening and the Morning, Dir. Dorian Supin, Arvo Pärt, Eesti Telefilm, 1990.

Standing in the Dollar Store with my Canadian children
After their absence in Ohio,
Elated in the candy aisle,
Practicing our pronunciation:
How do you say caramel? Carmul? CarAmel?
Me too! Me too!
And mum? Mom?
Mom, mom, mom... No,
MUm. I say mUm. I say mUm.
Caramel. Mum. Caramel. Mum.

In the car we stuff our faces full of candies.
All over the dark nights of Indiana the corn has become irrelevant,
The corn and the desolation, or the tepid mornings and the winds to come.
In the car we travel raucously together, laughing,
Picking candy from our teeth,
Missing deer.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

the untenable

covering my eyes i try to drive the terrible human out of me.
form of my form, give me my peace— sever from me.

how vile the face i meant to speak which spit out of my mouth.
how ugly the face that rose like heat to scorch and obscure the rose.

you, worthless squatter, villain, vacate me.
leave me, all of you! leave me alone!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Scenes from the Travelers

My mother is a planet,
my son a comet from my belt.

The cartographer drafts literature's score.

On earth the moon splashes itself like milk across the sea.

A man sets out in a boat, cutting the mixture from a to b.

From here we can't tell his tongue, but through his movements
we can know his past, his desire to flee.

Wild cries in the hills, cinders and ciphers in the foreground,
and always as backdrop the man's wake given and devoured again.

My pupil is the small ink pot which charts my mind.

On Monday at five o'clock it will arrive at you.
You will know it like a train.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

against darkness

winter comes
and night lowers herself
moribund doppelganger, behind the mirror

it's not that the lamp exists or doesn't
that darkness is or is not

it is - do you choose to fetch the lamp
do you choose to light the log

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Nostos Algos

Every year autumn comes 
slipping yellow into the sinuous tributaries of our brains,
auburns and vermilions letting down to punch through the blood to bursts of ichor,
shaken golds fisted over embers.

She allures with her familiar flair for scarves,
not lover, not mother (but both? none? the same?).

Eager, we open our doors
and welcome, to soothe the ache of wait,
her perfumed havoc.

Why is it this year then
that I find myself
brown, denuded,
beside a foreign tree,
wringing a half erupted hickory nut 
as though I belonged to it
or it to me,
thinking of my mother,
crying.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Drawing a Bath

The eave is down on the west side.
The cornice on the front porch rotten.
The squirrel in the attic comes and goes.

This is a story that happens.
I know, it's hard to believe.
Has happened. Is happening.

It happens in five minute increments.
First the bowl of water in the microwave.
Then the first kettle. Then the second.

The pouring of heat which, 
even as it's poured, is petering out.
The water is chock-full of iron.
Orange, but clean.

There's a clock on the mantel wall ticking.
The cornfields, stitched outside, rattle their husks.
There's an equation at play in the maze-time,

a continual losing, a slight gaining ground,
mild hope, a necessary patience and pleasure.

The woman is walking the bowl to the basin.
The man is walking the first kettle.
The second kettle is striking shrill.

First one will bathe. And then the other.
On another day, the second and then the first.

People have run away from these trials in Indiana.
People have razed the blisters of their poverty.
Begun again with effervescent greens and plastic baubles.

When the corn's struck down the dust will rise again.

As they pass, the man and the woman exchange glances.
There is nowhere to go, nothing to run from. 

 (october 15, drawing a bath in indiana)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Each Small Life, Close the Cabin Door and Wipe Clear a Patch on the Window

So many stories exist so that we don't have to say the one word searing.

Instead we say things like, Good morning; It's cold out;
Look closely - there's a moose standing there in the shadows of the walnuts',
fantastic soft stone gnawing masses of slow dreams out of a wet mouth of mosses;
Are you well? Are you warm enough? Can I get you anything?

Then the sun rises, burning off the vestigial swag of mists,
revealing the nearby harvest table legs as dependable as a fable.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

it's all a case of moving and standing still, notes

how to save oneself...

that night i dreamed two words, alienation, and existentialism.

reading sinclair ross's "the lamp at noon" the two main characters are, so it feels, trapped in a farmhouse in what has become, due to five years of drought, desert. ellen, the wife, longs to run away from it. paul, the husband, responds to her, already defeated, recognizing any flight as illusion, Go where? the dialogue between them is such excruciating tension, neither character able to impart the comfort that they each desire to give and receive, each enslaved to his or her need for a dream of the future, ellen's of running and reestablishing, paul's of staying put, persevering, serving the land and being rewarded for steadfast endurance, but never seeing that reward.

i drove the long inhospitable corridor south. expressly. meaning no time for will or deviation. no time for being lost either. efficient. perfected. cruel.

by the time i reached the cities i had been asked so many times to move in a certain direction at a prescribed pace that the quiet directions i hold in myself, the small turnings and movings and standings still that comprise my most meaningful days, had been obliterated. i began to see any choice for future as irrelevant. i began to see all of my days as vacuous repetition. i began to long for a way out. a way over this interminable wall of body.

but of course this wasn't the first beginning of such a train of thinking. there have been countless. times when the world's implemented systems of philosophies alien to me or in conflict with me have stripped me of my ideas of now and tomorrow. on the train in taiwan always moving toward the making of money. in my car all those years ago in the city. how inviting the never arriving of the train was. the empty horizon. the void. how welcoming the cement barrier in the construction of the city.

for days and weeks before i even got onto the highway, already one day was simply replacing the day before it. the alarm going off. the moving of legs out of bed. the moving of body toward workplace. the coming home. the doing it again. again. and again. the too many days of work. the too many long black nights. the grey box of the heart in days throughout. this too an inhospitable corridor.

looking at it...

what?

i miss my children?

yes.

an unbearable lightness of being without them.

but - a freedom to be myself as well. freedom! (do not deny this. do not let yourself lie on this point.)

but who am i?

who i choose to be. but who i am forced to be as well inside the momentum of bodies and external structures. within the thrum and knowing beingness of family.

oh.

and so released from that. what then?

carefully. carefully. one must not rush to arrive at an answer but spend time investigating the question. we lie to ourselves a thousand times daily. lie to ourselves through the world.

from "the lamp at noon":

There was much he planned. And so vivid was the future of his planning, so real and constant, that often the actual present was but half felt, but half endured. Its difficulties were lessened by a confidence in what lay beyond them.

how often have i dreamed? how often have i stood in the presence of a trembling leaf and dreamed myself through to the presence of the next trembling leaf? a leaf in our own yard. the children happy. at least well. growing. growing mysteriously and with mystery. a small building out back. a cat snaking through my daughter's legs. my son by my side. the unspoken understanding passing between us. my lover quiet and waiting for me to return to our quiet. our married couple's quiet. my returning, in small bursts of silent time, to him. to myself. my other self. truest self. but self also equally true.

all the driving was not for naught. i have seen my children. my daughter still her tight fist of being as always, with new and more alarming (not quite) twists of aggressive livingness. such a spectacle. such a person to marvel over.

and my son. slow and quiet. a frightened animal with such a handsome face. 13 and finally able to articulate his quiet feelings.   in part.   i ask him how he is. how he really is. and he is as startled by this thing. this strange thing. this oddity that has formed inside and in front of him. it feels as though one day only replaces the day before it... it feels endless... 

we. he and i. examine it a little. but mostly, as the characters in the story are unable to articulate to one another what it is, we are unable to say it.

so we hold hands. or, he puts his head on my shoulder in the theatre. we bounce a ball off the walls together. lie on a narrow cot side by side. and we laugh a lot. at all the silly understandings of the nonsense in the world and between us. you see, it is curious that we experience this alienation, this existentialism strongest away from one another. yet we've both known it together too. it's always present. but somehow the alchemy of a laughing now, of a relationship that senses the world, appraises it, in likeness, is the deepest comfort. the most convincing.

in the story, "She looked forward to no future. She had no faith or dream with which to make the dust and poverty less real."

driving down. hours and hours of space to fill. hostile space. inhospitable void. it wasn't until late day, early evening, blessed twilight with the egrets standing still against the water like reflective women and the herons with their masculine gullets who craned above the swamps in formidable, pensive grey gusts, that i began to return to myself. a program came on the radio. an interview with the artist andy goldsworthy who uses the land to create ephemeral sculptures.

creation. the act of creation.

suddenly and unsuspectingly as though a fly fisherman had set his line upon the air and the hook was laid upon the surface of the water to become quietly but decisively, soon, lodged into something, i understood (once again) the force necessary to move with purpose to the next moment. creation. all the grey inarticulation and cold of the day's experiences, the week's, began to develop a photograph inside of me. this particular photograph was of an outcrop of rock. james and i had climbed it. sat upon it. spending a piece of eternity there. and then climbed down it to stand beside it in its seduction. in its enduringness. in its many faces throughout time. how it seemed to speak those things that can never be spoken. both with its darknesses which it held close. and with its illuminations which it sent out toward us on the light.

and in this. in this small ratcheting within myself i began to be well. began to move outside the prescribed flow of the traffic and instead into the flow between whatever it is that is my self and the world i choose to know. inside my mind. imagination. i was developing an image of the rock we had seen together. as the tones and formations became apparent to my mind's eye, so too my relevant body began to (re)emerge, organize itself into existence once more.

how to say to my son, create something. anything. and watch it go. grow. become apparent. and then becoming super-exposed, fade into irrelevancy. let the relevancy be hardened only in the touching during the moment of creation.

and how to have him hear me?

wait. hold on. for what will surely come. the insanity of breasts and bodies. the magnanimity of light. the givingness of the natural world. look within yourself. and out of that incredible roiling complexity of void and sum, make one thing. a photo. a poem. a child. a thought. a dream.

if it be a lie. lie well. lie deeply.

the story, "the lamp at noon" ends disastrously. it seems there is no room left for hope. the last words, "tomorrow will be fine" a barbarous irony. but i would argue that this is only if we do not allow ourselves to be together, to be close, to aid one another along on the journey. if only paul would have touched ellen as he touched his horses...

as the world works out its fictions, my son and i spent perhaps the most solid block of time this weekend writing a story together, with my daugher and james present.

and now it exists, this story. it exists. this record of our being together.

Monday, October 5, 2015

notes, notes notes notes more notes

the company i work for buys stuff that someone else created. that some factory produced.

what's it made of?

not wood. not marble. not beryl, chodchod or carbuncle. certainly not salvation.

but resin, guts and glue.

i sell pigs to people. frogs. owls. wolves. bears. indigenous peoples as figurines. (come on - let's call them how we feel them, indians.) i sell dragonflies to people. silver bangles. baubles. moccasins. totem poles. made in china labels brilliantly removed. i sell fudge to people. fat people. thin people. thin people getting fat. i sell coca cola to people. gloves to people. t-shirts to people. christmas decorations to people. in october. i sell battery operated candles to people. with remote controls. kitchen gadgets. witty tea towels. over-priced magnets. i even sell broken shit to people. people are greedy to buy shit. shit and shit and shit i sell shit to people. some people are sick people. some people are getting sick. some people are fine. some people are on vacation. some are stopping by from work. all the people are buying people.

i put shit into bags for people.

people feel good about it.

i smile at people. people smile at me.

people.

what do i do with my life? what difference do i make? can i make? what do i create in my lifetime?

thumb photos. thumb miscellaneous notes etc. so what. bric a brac. shit. fat.

i might as well be making pigs for people. frogs. indigenous peoples as figurines. silver bangles. baubles...

nothing will be left. nothing i make will be left when i'm gone. nothing of value. nothing i make matters. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing.

and you. all you people. with your pigs and your frogs and your figurines, your bangles and baubles. not one thing you buy matters.

and what do you do in your life? what difference do you make? can you make? what do you create in your life? what will be left after?

i daresay in a matter of time - nothing.

there. now we have a place from which to begin.

***

as coincidence would have it, after this tirade, i opened, at random, a book and read this poem aloud by Robinson Jeffers:

Apology For Bad Dreams

I

In the purple light, heavy with redwood, the slopes drop sea

     ward,
Headlong convexities of forest, drawn in together to the steep
     ravine. Below, on the sea-cliff,
A lonely clearing; a little field of corn by the streamside; a roof
     under spared trees. Then the ocean
Like a great stone someone has cut to a sharp edge and polished
     to shining. Beyond it, the fountain
And furnace of incredible light flowing up from the sunk sun.
     In the little clearing a woman
Is punishing a horse; she had tied the halter to a sapling at the
     edge of the wood, but when the great whip
Clung to the flanks the creature kicked so hard she feared he
     would snap the halter; she called from the house
The young man her son; who fetched a chain tie-rope, they
     working together
Noosed the small rusty links round the horse's tongue

And tied him by the swollen tongue to the tree.
Seen from this height they are shrunk to insect size.
Out of all human relation. You cannot distinguish
The blood dripping from where the chain is fastened,
The beast shuddering; but the thrust neck and the legs
Far apart. You can see the whip fall on the flanks . . .
The gesture of the arm. You cannot see the face of the woman.
The enormous light beats up out of the west across the cloud-

     bars of the trade-wind. The ocean
Darkens, the high clouds brighten, the hills darken together.
     Unbridled and unbelievable beauty
Covers the evening world . . . not covers, grows apparent out
     of it, as Venus down there grows out
From the lit sky. What said the prophet? "I create good: and
     I create evil: I am the Lord."

II


This coast crying out for tragedy like all beautiful places,
(The quiet ones ask for quieter suffering: but here the granite cliff
     the gaunt cypresses crown
Demands what victim? The dykes of red lava and black what
     Titan? The hills like pointed flames
Beyond Soberanes, the terrible peaks of the bare hills under the
      sun, what immolation? )
This coast crying out for tragedy like all beautiful places: and
     like the passionate spirit of humanity
Pain for its bread: God's, many victims', the painful deaths, the
     horrible transfigurements: I said in my heart,

"Better invent than suffer: imagine victims
Lest your own flesh be chosen the agonist, or you
Martyr some creature to the beauty of the place." And I said,

"Burn sacrifices once a year to magic
Horror away from the house, this little house here
You have built over the ocean with your own hands
Beside the standing boulders: for what are we,
The beast that walks upright, with speaking lips
And little hair, to think we should always be fed,
Sheltered, intact, and self-controlled? We sooner more liable
Than the other animals. Pain and terror, the insanities of desire;
     not accidents but essential,
And crowd up from the core:" I imagined victims for those
     wolves, I made them phantoms to follow,
They have hunted the phantoms and missed the house. It is not
     good to forget over what gulfs the spirit
Of the beauty of humanity, the petal of a lost flower blown
     seaward by the night-wind, floats to its quietness.

III


Boulders blunted like an old bear's teeth break up from the
     headland; below them
All the soil is thick with shells, the tide-rock feasts of a dead
     people.
Here the granite flanks are scarred with ancient fire, the ghosts
     of the tribe
Crouch in the nights beside the ghost of a fire, they try to re-

     member the sunlight,
Light has died out of their skies. These have paid something for
     the future
Luck of the country, while we living keep old griefs in memory:
     though God's
Envy is not a likely fountain of ruin, to forget evils calls down
Sudden reminders from the cloud: remembered deaths be our
     redeemers;
Imagined victims our salvation: white as the half moon at mid-

     night
Someone flamelike passed me, saying, "I am Tamar Cauldwell,
     I have my desire,"
Then the voice of the sea returned, when she had gone by, the
     stars to their towers.
. . . Beautiful country burn again, Point Pinos down to the
     Sur Rivers
Burn as before with bitter wonders, land and ocean and the
     Carmel water.

IV


He brays humanity in a mortar to bring the savor
From the bruised root: a man having bad dreams, who invents
     victims, is only the ape of that God.
He washes it out with tears and many waters, calcines it with
     fire in the red crucible,
Deforms it, makes it horrible to itself: the spirit flies out and
     stands naked, he sees the spirit,
He takes it in the naked ecstasy; it breaks in his hand, the atom
     is broken, the power that massed it
Cries to the power that moves the stars, "I have come home to
     myself, behold me.
I bruised myself in the flint mortar and burnt me
In the red shell, I tortured myself, I flew forth,
Stood naked of myself and broke me in fragments,
And here am I moving the stars that are me."
I have seen these ways of God: I know of no reason
For fire and change and torture and the old returnings.
He being sufficient might be still. I think they admit no reason;
     they are the ways of my love.
Unmeasured power, incredible passion, enormous craft: no
     thought apparent but burns darkly
Smothered with its own smoke in the human brain-vault: no
     thought outside: a certain measure in phenomena:
The fountains of the boiling stars, the flowers on the foreland,
     the ever-returning roses of dawn.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

THE POSSIBLE. THE POSSIBLE. THE POSSIBLE. THE CALLED FOR.

If you are Canadian - we must make this next federal election count. Vote. Fundamental change.

Start talking about what needs to happen. Start living what needs to happen.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

skin, notes, a trip to the island, september 28

it's painful in both ways. to not have everything simultaneously.

painful in the waiting.
painful in the losing.

***

the same old story. i go out into the day. expose myself. long to be touched. aware of my cheek. aware of the side of my neck.

fall colours begin to clamour.

the same old story. i long for nothing else. touch. be touched.

the crystalline words. the smooth words. the raggedness of time.

fur alina - the sparse notes. and the seduction of the in-between.

on the horizon a vista of trees. a lake. rock. valley.

canadian thistle going to seed.

at the top of willisville mountain i put down the window to let a fly free.

last notes of the song. i will it. can hardly bear it.

wait...

play it again. practice letting it happen.

it will all happen.

i'll be found. erased. found again.

***

this morning so surprised. file on my computer titled "mother waving." mother? whose mother? my own? opened the file and saw a silly photo of myself i sent to my son last summer. whose skin am i in?

last night strange dreams. nursing poorly a stray kitten. another dream - an infant. but they were only players. perhaps that is another story. (the kitten a male actor. the infant an articulate man in a baby's body.)

yesterday after making love taking some moments to look down at my lover's softening body. his penis yet slightly erect. instantly i was overcome as though he were a small boy and i were his mother. how painfully beautiful his vulnerable pink flesh. it felt as though the pink/grey convolutions of my brain were answering to the call of this pink skin.

just moments ago in the parking lot of the grocery a chance encounter. talking to my step father. he hugging me upon departure. the grocery man walking by and eyeing us suspiciously wondering on our relationship.

my mother at home. all of us growing older.

while i leave the mountain i stop to write this. fur alina, for the second time, drawing to a close.

***

then the bridge and the island. then mclean's mountain. its pale fields. the colossal wind turbines turning. the clouds drifting smoothly over the fields of the mountain. geese somewhere blurred beyond. crickets invisible but nearby. one cow mooing out by the treeline. smooth hands over my forehead, my eyelids.

remnants of purple asters, ragweed. even chicory. blades moving like whales. clouds drifting. vultures rising from treetops and floating through the air. lag fyrir ömmu - olafur arnalds.

under these right conditions even the tremendous metal spars of the turbines are warm.



***

i open my seat and sit in a field of blonde grasses.



small punches of chicory. hair drifting across my face as i read jaccottet.

"this is exactly what it is to be me today." my words.



wind touching like palms over my bare shoulders. sun yet too hot. "this is exactly me! in exactly my skin!" can you smell it?



are there foxes i don't notice in the field?

i look up.



curled dock dries more.

i'm here. mostly.

then only somewhat again.

a sound. i look around. everything still, or still and moving.

do i touch enough?

this body will not suffice.

i imagine splitting my face open like a fruit.
i imagine spilling me over the pale grasses.



***

what if i laid down here in the tall grasses? closed my eyes. slept. forgot myself.

***

i run a tall thin supple grass between my lips. surprise myself. almost cut my skin.

***

like any animal grown accustomed to his surroundings after a time i strike out to cross the field. like a human i'm drawn to the highest knoll. watch for traps along the way. who knows whose property! i've seen how at every turn man mines and milks environments. perhaps i am a fur. perhaps i am a trespasser. a violator.

dragonflies mate in the air.

i am tired of thinking. perhaps thinking is like talking. my jaw hurts.

i extend it. rest it.

i plan for wider silence.

perhaps after this i'll cross the road. walk the other field.

***

bees, butterflies (the most perfect curtains of yellow) and birds burst from the ground!

i try not to think. i walk. it's almost working.

and then there
in the back corner
a tree.

i throw my sweater to the ground. apples! the largest unnoticed apples!!! i fill my sweater. my hands are anxious. they caress each apple. i can't stand this waste. this undelivered bounty. but i too am milking the world. but reason - each apple in the hand i aim to love. (realizing only later i'll never love any of them sufficiently.)

back to the car quickly. sweating. i am a transgressor. a liberator of apples!

***

a steep hill. i train my mind to not be afraid. and my mind isn't.

but all over my arms, as i ply the brakes hard, my skin breaks into welts. into hives.

the body knows what i've tried to conceal. always the body knows.

***

then a long drive. lost. lost to and in and to and in my body. i speak through my mind to what feels like sky. i touch my neck. my arms. other places...

i wake up in a distant town at the dead end of a road near a lake.

***

an empty lake.

then water fowl suddenly break its skin. its surface.

appearing. being.

then arching and diving.

empty and full. empty and full. breached. no asking. no understanding. just making. unmaking. remaking. continually.

merganser ducks?

no. lengthier. more graceful. lissome.

i cover my face and smell my hands. release my face. release my hands. the wind takes my scent. whatever is left of the summer sun burns the rest of my smell away like that of a fossil.

Friday, October 2, 2015

canadian mothers should be aware of such hoaxes

i am studying a list of inuktitut words associated with snow the morning i receive the notice for custody,

then come across an essay dispelling the myth of the hundred words,

rather language deepens under the weight of necessity;

in this case from its two parents, 
   
   qanik (snow in air) and 

   aput (snow on ground),

words breaking apart from one another at their source

much the way ice chunks calf from icebergs.

 
despite the blizzard, the 

   pirtuk, the

   pirrelvag,

head down, steady the distance,

move slowly but carefully like black scrawl 

over the imaginary line.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Children of the Imperceptible

Jungle parasite, rare ugly ass flower, each bloom battles the clock,
many dead (most) before buds even open, and those that do - mere days.
You, Rafflesia, itching to thrive, but dying in the meat rot heat heaven of Indonesia.

The mind is three heavens deep and two hells wide
and night in Antarctica is nine long fathoms unfathomable, 
nothing but the length of the regal body consuming the height of the regal body to quantify it.
Deliberate priest of the cold, father of eighty-one percent soon dead, frozen stiff, utvak,
unsentimental chunk of ice and flesh, you, sacrosanct, yet with no measure of self, sorrow, history.

I am trying to understand. 

We ask - why something instead of nothing
when only one one-billionth of the something has mind enough to ask,
never enshrouding sufficient mythology or unveiling determinate solution.

I am trying to understand. 

Does love live in the cells?
Does it leach, propagate, thrive, survive?
Do angels have hemoglobin?

I am trying to understand.

Even though the gamut between Indonesia and Antarctica is wondrous,
is it enough?