Thursday, July 31, 2008

One Anticipates Cacophany

Circle the mountain twenty times, then climb it. Or look at it from your kitchen window while water boils for tea. The notion of oxen sooner than later remains particular. My lungs heat up and my dreams take place at the end of a long tunnel.

Midges, cattails. In the blue distance a pair of deer step patiently off the treeline to browse. Turkeys like dark grey bells on stilts where the field began its slope. The social compact varies from body to body, and there are lots of bodies.

Yet I cultivate a relationship with darkness, and one with narrative, and the two are not strikingly dissimilar. There are gaps in my education, yes - they're where I do my best thinking. He wanted to write "he wrote while drinking coffee" and so he did. A relative quiet upon waking where one anticipates cacophony can be as disorienting as gunfire.

Going in, going down, going on. Moby Dick bores me and I can't find my Emily Dickinson. The twenty sentences are like a party I didn't expect to attend but once there am not entirely disappointed. I do have a hard time listening to people, the way my mind wanders, and my gaze.

Sugar crystals. Maple trees. Pale green acorns which I imagine crushing to a gritty flour. Ultimately it's futile of course but then what am I talking about.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Billowing, Laughing

Blur of chipmunk crossing the road. In the rearview after thankfully no sign of its broken body. The white horse skitted, reared, knocked her to the ground but she pushed up fast, unhurt. Lily raised one leg but otherwise ignored us standing in the shade.

Leaping from warm rock to warm rock, dress billowing, laughing. Baby ferns so late in the season. Official complaints. Dark green goose turds where we put the canoe in.

Clouds immortalized. Salad with a homemade yogurt dressing, tart cheese. The clocks wrong, skipping, leaving us with only our heartbeats. It's just family, that's all.

Late at night, cereal a welcome comfort. No blossoms yet on the sunflowers and it's nearly August. The neighbor's dog gives up, the roof of its house spackled with bird shit. Invasive species indeed.

Nobody remembers the many wrongs that I do. Rosemary, dill, chives, drying. He felt he said as though he'd swallowed a candle. Two days ago I bought a sack of white flour and nobody here has baked a whit since.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Like Cheerful Juggernauts

Nearly at the intersection of Routes 9 and 143, as if an answer to some mute or garbled prayer, I saw myself encrusted. Let me say that differently. Self buried beneath mounds of what appeared to be green and mustard coral. You can make - I probably am making - too much of this. Yet it was very clear, not something I arrived at logically - what if I tried this image, what if I tried that - but what just appeared out of the "where" I'm usually not. I was frustrated moments before its appearance, talked out, dirt poor and sick of it, discouraged at the constant abrasive presence of family, etc. I was making an argument - call it notes towards an explanation, a justification - that I only dimly understood the work I am to do, what writing, for whom. And that it was mainly poetry and then fiction that was simple, a pleasure to read, and not at all literary or pretentious. And why - went the argument/justification/etc - can't I simply/just write that that way? Why should that so hard? Lately I have been refusing prayer in a less obstinate way - in fact my heart seems to be in prayer always, or my soul - oh Christ how I hate that word but still - is in a state of constant crying, yearning. And the work, meanwhile, proceeds - "proceeds apace" as Hans used to say, smoking on his cluttered porch in Townshend, VT. The fiction - these stories, thick and dense and not inauthentic but ask why do they even need to be here the way they do - goes on, and the poems. I do, I miss the novels I used to write, the ones that followed their own unwinding, like cheerful juggernauts. And yet and yet. The vision - I don't mind calling it that - suggests that the work (the life) lies buried. Fishing last night, wading through high cool water, I wondered if I wasn't in search of some metaphorical acid bath, a letting go of one writing, an embrace of another. The chips of coral loosening, melting, falling aside. When I tried, in that moment - a moment of simple and deep joy, fishing with Jeremiah - to "see" the encrusted self it struck me as more distant, more fluid, thinner. I want to say the work begins when the crust dissolves but now I think no, the work is the dissolution of the crust, which makes it somehow more perilous and risky and "do it right now."

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Drift Of It

In consequence of eating too many blackberries. We are deeply affected by his death. It is for the want of disposition and resolution. The gulf of oblivion in consequence. We are all well and the babe is as fat as a pig.

There is a commotion about religion. Unexpectedly rent asunder. An enemy to me who would exult my calamity. How much they weighed - 'twill discourage. Content without a pretty spry horse.

Received the distressing intelligence. So hard a bed of which he complained incessantly. In the village churchyard Tuesday. The finish and ornament of this material fabric. Did the grapes get ripe before the frost came.

A load of apples sold and had very good luck. When will the time come when I will not have to stay alone. The sleighing was good and the evening. Frank went over there to embalm him.

The drift of it was that the good old days.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Infiltrators wielding commas

This was the last sentence I wrote. The green world for the green man. Yet still the purple spoke to me, almost as a brother. Slept dreaming of infiltrators, wielding commas. Longer by far was the silverish ribbon.

I ignored the difficult phone call which spoke volumes about my commitment and intentions. Lavender drying, and mint too. It was morning, wet popcorn, clouds of fruit flies tousling over the compost. Sitting in the theatre I imagined I could smell gun powder, ruined brain. Railroad spikes painted red and yellow and used to hold loose mail.

The stove coughed in the half-light and we all smelled ash and yesterday's bread. If storms always pass is there a default weather? The history of lawns, and bad ideas. Tomatoes scrunched over, their roots moldy. Lightening lingered hard to ignore.

What it was also and remember that. Horses waded upriver, foraging, thin. The immediate war rent by bored. Terminally sage, mercifully banal. Maladroit gamblers drag the bandaged dead to wagons.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Moments When Pianos Appeared

Errands in the sun. A brace of perch. I died in green ferns dragged through the sea.

The earth a nest from whose rim we are pushing off. Off. There were moments when pianos appeared in the gloaming, derivative and quaint. Certain fields recalled the nineteenth century. Certain stones were voluminous.

Love letters to a coelacanth, also to Helen. Secret notes in the basement where the blue molds flower. A singing in the veins, a gift in the mail. A moment of deception, one you built with your hands.

This would be my twelve. Your dispensation, gloves. Refusing food where breathing was impaired. Try a more sensible rhythm, a draft horse pacing.

And so slowly over a pile of swords the sun rose, a roar. Where the river grabbed at more slender banks. The clover blossoms emerged like voters, choosing December, blushing but proud.

My reader, my only, my dear one, oh.

Friday, July 25, 2008

An Old Awe

Windows closed against a gone rain. A morning hour that's blue, fluid, that's holding. I write from the half-assed lotus, folded in the shape of an apple. Ambitious for these lines, dough for pierogies, possibly the lake. As hearty as trout in a tousled spate, the muddy next, and birch leaves fluttery.

Things I will do not this year include kill a bear. Though my heart owns gristle, embraces compromise. A draft horse in my future, a callous, a saw. On the long drive to Connecticut, I was - could only be - little more than dander. Which these lines cannot address. Or wouldn't, only.

And there is always Canada, there is always religion. Tracking deer we forged cold high water to examine the far bank. "We are sailing people," though not in recent memory. That you listen at all moves me, and the memory will sear. Oh and the fairs now only weeks away. Hours in the pit, dust lining jaws.

Proliferation of lilies along familiar trails means what. A pilgrimage at first blush, the success of any inception. An old awe is returning, an immense and distant star.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Nascent Beggars Go Walking

By day's middle a cucumber, a dreams of what brine. Toppling line endings, roses hobbled, the garden's child is heir to what break. Or keyed to what, peelings, or books. Stop here. Now read to there.

Where headed north, horse-ridden focus, we didn't see - for its sound displeases - a what, a skunk. But occipital, yes, its black tail flickering, to taller grass, a mica dust. And late season dandelions, golden yellow brow.

So rhythm more than chime, and chime more than rhyme. Content celestial, bestial adored, but always from afar, the distance of "so." Before the barrel of a gun. Then: Ron - Ron.


Cattails cry, the nascent beggars. Go walking at midnight where in 198- all the old ghosts clamored, riven mist rolling. Bellow then of cattle, tangle tangled weeds. The pink wild morning glory whispers underfoot. Where narrative excuses, relaxes, holds. Where forgiveness, forgotten, forbearance of grievance, old, yet, still bearing still.

Where we settle - now - on forward standing - so

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Like Lanterns, Like Origami Shoes

One anticipates perforation. Which clocks abjure. The applause began in back of the room and scuttled forward like cautious mice. Bliss again, a rolling trysts. A gentle wave that lifts the craft, sunset beckoning a reddening blear.

We weren't salt, weren't tea, but what was sweeter, berries then, or boiled corn. As crows picked where bracken fell or tossed, fallen, for the sake of the right sound. Sirens everywhere and that's the meaning of bliss. Treasure, a treasury. A single flake of snow, a lilac on which the moon was a very little so. Sussuration, yes? At last, at last.

While mercifully she was silent while the night's blanket raveled, as distant as wealth, her hands folded like lanterns, like origami shoes. He on the other hand perennially dreams. Use the word "saint." Use "amethyst," "crown." A little about me means maybe she whispered or was it maybe a glimmer, capricious where eyes. We should write about the ones - writes A. and I agree - "that have swallowed us."

Whither what - whither which, and whither. When on pilgrimage, on hunger, when bent.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lost But What Lost

It was over and over a low call resounding. Where the water rose a white blush, a body plash, dusk.

Falling to sleep with how she wrote in my brain, the Dickinson rhythms, the commas, dash. Grasses, rocks, drippy prints, feet slipping but also - check for him now - following following. Behind where the brook bent, gentle bend, I recalled him most and yet . . . Ask what do you resist, what voice, voices, what loveliness, or - maybe -

Rising in the dark then, the pre-dawn mist. The moon a blur skirting low south hills, a pervasive glow where at night the chickens hug handhewn roosts, chicken dreams.

Vellum, quill, what purple word. Thinking then I would write about fish - the one's torn lip, the other dead (spiraling shadow away in the sluice). But instead, again - and against, too - jesus (again), Jesus.

The mute, scrawl, the many other ways of talking. "Not everyone who talks/has ears or a tongue." Bronson cool against the dayslong heat. Jeremiah fishes, the sun settles in this humming embrasure - where forested, prayerful - I have been at times both father and son. "Oh father forsaken, forgive your son."

At home, then, at rest. The heart its own clenched fist. Longing confused - as ever - with a certain lost - but what lost, what - distinctly masculine kiss.

Monday, July 21, 2008

All Over Town Lavender

Not at six a.m. but a little before, from dreams I wouldn't want to recall (and can't now anyway). After falling to asleep on the living room floor, nodding off so close to your shoulders. Thunder storms, flickering power outage all over town, lavender candles, bedtime delays. The neighbor's dog cried piteously in rain falling, sloshing, so loud. And all afternoon leading up to it, movies. "When the going gets tough, the tough go to movies."

A turn then, a break in the bright shale, to mineral deposits. Once here where dinosaurs ambled, tearing a green foliage. What a splendid splendid sunset. And have you ever prayed with or even about such beneficent stammering creatures? He wrote over coffee he wrote after finishing his coffee. How do you read L. Frank Baum? You begin by admitting that pleasure may be a lot simpler than even Barthes could imagine.

A "moment of your time" is all there ever was anyway. Lemonade seasoned with limes cut thin as museum quality parchment. As shaved ginger through which a ray of the antiquated sun shines. Oh rhyme, oh chime. You so are what I echo.

On a day before the dig that might expose the future dwelling. Obsessed with terrain, magnificence, and what a performance.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

To Say Enough

A mix of lilies, of wonder. Weeds, batten, what thunder works and when. Home. The black fur fading where maple leaves turn frogside. You pretend narrative doesn't matter, or privilege a certain concatenation instead, but why. Why. When home all you want is a story to sleep by. Et cetera.

Pause. In the twenty sentences which yesterday for the first time since March were left untended. And waking and remembering - sight of Chrisoula asleep there curled lovely so fine - it didn't matter, at all at all. Wake, rise - cook breakfast for those you love - then, and only then, write.

He wrote "with a heavy heart," uncertain but able to stand back from. The internal divisions with which he lived which remained, widened, what on and on. He owned fear, a deep and violent fear, but writing at it - writing into it - always posed risks, ones you can't take and still be the man who didn't take them. Traveling you see what matters. The story unfolds, poetry is poetry always, any ways. Is that enough?

But not knowing - and inclined as always to chasms that way - he couldn't, he wouldn't - he didn't - answer. Today my friends I'm going swimming in the dingle with my beautiful gentle son Jeremiah. It takes a twenty-first sentence to say enough.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Aberrations, abrasions

I was a radio dream beginning with hills. There were no hills, only a patchwork, green and like sand. Ascending light, descending into bounce, bump. You're here. A light that flickers over the smiling man's face smiling while you try to convince yourself. Heat, buckets of ice. That guitar sounds familiar. Warm brown like forbidden, like sweet.

It was dreams that no identity could penetrate. There were hills - of course there were hills - but they were low, merely bumps, vague alterations on a dull landscape. Every door opened a Frigidaire blast. When was the last time I wrote the twenty sentences without coffee. Yet facing south. Where south feels north, a matter of being blurred by heat.

Your simple artery container. Try twelve, try grace. She buried herself in a blue blanket against the obvious turbulence. They were aberrations, abrasions, I felt them so. In moonlight familiar of what gone world. In this one where at last I felt the ruined heart, mine.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

No Hat But What Dream

No hat but what dream waking a box. Flank settled, sunlight, the map imagined. Red shoe a metallic. Soul of a number when blank with poesy.

Heaven underwater finding failure a new user. Again with no bowler, no corduroy. Finding a home so thusly elven. A partner all the way where the the town line out. What is possible, what is. Is or.

Religion does, it dooms the faintest. Poems a mustard concoction October. Clover, but not the blossoms, crunch. In a circle, a line. And volunteering, proffering. "For me it's most like a dance." A huddle, relearned, a loosening lightening.

When breathless. Also when stark. Moonlight enough to make coffee by for you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Heart Beyond You

Forget burdens, forget hunger. The reins are what breeze, what ginkgo biloba, what where where the field ends.

A clipped way of saying it, an emphasis eliding. I want to argue - am I? - that the ear bypasses the brain.

A lovely, unburdening, a music.

Swimming in a lack of nouns. What is pejorative? Lost is, lost always, what now. In clouds, in assemblage, maybe upstate New York in early the last century. Rolling like comets, circular burdens. When I see you the bamboo cage. My hands imagine the reins. Biography, a wheel. A trail to the physical heart, beyond. You indicate direction, what one what, release, we are home.

Light, shadow, unfurling, folds. Sense of grace, container shift. Not a lack or lay but what. What I cannot say. A cup, outpouring, momentarily a now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Swamp I Knew

Of and in what shelf. Of regarding the text most likely assembled. Thus, thusly, a lighthouse.

Or walk, what dove. Where the brook trickled in hottest summer. Tractors, dust, your mockups, all.

The tiger lily's desert fade of just demand. A ladder of arrows, the moon is a monster. Momentous, malady. My but those are lovely heels, may I ask where you shop for shoes?

He wrote, impatient. I wrote bored. Tears, a Victorian principle, linear design.

Tumbling down not drunk after reading Emily Dickinson. Silky snakes, other blossoms. The welter, loving, recipes, grim. Guitar elision where the beam discovers.

Whales rising, the moose a mountain, out of what swamp. I knew you back when. Your peppermint laughter a skid to in the days.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Lane Down Low

At last we are back at rain. At lack, at yes. There are two hours until then. The air heavy smells like an old. Yet harmony proposed by reincarnation, the sense of composing a few bars only. Swinging gate, lionized sun. He assumed briefly the consciousness of potato beetles, returned to clouds, battleship gray. It ain't yours but take it, that's the way we do it here.

Breaking, soaring, coloring. The words lift themselves like stones, an irritated toad squeaks, scuttles. Certain books - now lost - remain a comfort, merely the title repeated repeated functions as a balm, salve, again blessing. Strange to say but I dreamed last night of adopting a hippopotamus. Making notes about its care on paper the size of a hangnail. Organic lettuce? Check. Diced mustard greens? Check.

Oh but for a permanent water would I what. Compose, compile, even complete. He wrote lilting in a lilting way as if the lane down low gave a damn about his soles

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Akin To Marble, A Natural History

The movement (of the text, that is) was akin to marble, a natural history. Repetition improved sections mostly by trailing away. When he talked about music regardless of where his mind would see white sand in a gently curving line going away. As far as what eye can see. Ambition a blot on - or of perhaps - what sensibility. So listen he pleaded. Listen.

A poem including a rustling pheasant meant this world at this time. You could do it, somebody was. The elliptical mode held meaning in a new way, was a permissive vessel, a generative one. It hid and hiding was a matter of what worked. But years later came the question "and then why." He wrote with his head cocked a certain way, his legs folded, most of the intensity kindling where his eyes bore. Was he teasing, flirting. He considered writing, the success of any tease is predicated on some later consummation. But then thinking of S., that night when the rain never quite fell and a long walk (a penumbral event) he reconsidered. It had to do with porous boundaries, shifting boundaries. What you didn't know, or could only learn by looking slant, say. "I still enjoy being surprised by what I write."

(Wrote) the liar in his lair, leaves turning frogside, smoke smell and charcoal, all the necessary lack, blessing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No Sign This Year Of The Herons

Walked with the kids yesterday through rainy forest. The river was low and nearly silent which we all commented on at different places. First raspberries after the noted wave of strawberries. Sweet and tiny and you could see where bears had thrashed the bracken to gain access. Wind trails on the black lake as we picked the last daisies. No sign this year of the herons, the merganser nests akilter.

"Slo Po" depressed me as I could not separate it from something Wendell Berry was saying (something I was hearing him say) ten years ago. Nor from its obvious social and political implications, making me think that one of the attractions of language poetry, so-called, is the idea that it's pure, above and beyond the politics of eating and driving and working, etc. Despite the evidence (plenty of) to the contrary. Maybe that's what truly had me down - woke me up as well about 2 a.m. - the sense that I hadn't at all moved off the fatal, the dangerous even, puer energy. And then the comment streams littered with erudition, intimidating as ever. Though Gould (Henry) was a blessing, truly marking territory in unfamiliar and porous ways. Oh I like that: marking in a porous way.

I think a lot these days of Ron Atkinson, my first "real" poet, and where he is now (where is he now) and why I am not looking for him harder. I dream often of his daughter's grave up the street and wonder who tends it because somebody does, must. I, too, long for community, an authentic and generous response to the obvious butchery and crapola, national and global, yet somehow for some reason ("and then why") want poetry divorced from that response. Or arising from that response, not begetting it, not born in the welter. Which want masquerades as a spiritual practice or at least some yearning for what is, what might be anyway, infinite.

As always, in the dark dawn hours pacing and arguing the merits of prayer, I heard thumpings and rustlings and even the occasional cry of what bird where. It was unsettling and falling back to sleep I wondered if at last I might be ready to rid myself - be free - of the twenty sentences.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It Didn't Rhyme, It Doppleganged

Folds, seams.

At the end of Reading Boyishly whole chunks went by mostly ignored which hardly diminished the pleasure of it. Consider this (chalk it up) as a collaborative process, reader meeting writer in a text of their own creation (yeah, yeah, yeah - Barthes - I know). Kinnell saying the same of Moby Dick "even though to me it is the greatest of all novels." Enamored of the style Mavor employs - so reminiscent of, so contingent upon, "her" Barthes - elliptical, intellectual, indulgent - yet can't myself adopt it. How fine at last to admire a work without needing to emulate it.

But see also (consider) Corbett's Furthering My Education, also recently completed, in which each word was consumed singly then the pages combed for stray crumbs so as not to "miss a word of it." I did, I cried when I was finished. It didn't rhyme, it doppleganged. It was "me, my issues, exactly." Like reading a map (maybe) and why yesterday my own prose seemed capable of its own startling (satisfying) leaps.

A different kind of pleasure.

Loafing, being bored. A matter of a child's privilege, or an old man's or woman's, but either way a flippant disregard of death. Why write anything that can't be understood by just anyone? The cobbler and the financier. Juliana Spahr again, (lately reoccurring), here paraphrased, on procedural/conceptual work: how that mode is used by men to avoid writing the male confessional poem and then why.

Me, I had hoped to dream of Randy Rhoads last night but got instead only language, in fragments. Line endings actually, and all considered under a rubric of the New Baroque. Waking, writing, the twenty sentences feel alien, deliberately so, as if they have no desire to be here but cannot not perform what task laid before us.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Of No Fixed Abode

Is the line a matter of accommodating the limitations of the printing press or a matter of notes over a settled time. While the sentence is "an independent thought," of "no fixed abode." I'm bored with this, grateful that Ron Atkinson has poked a grieving fragment in. Boredom equals desire for desire, intensely. Or is instead the prophylactic emotion (deadened?) that protects you from what. He wrote circling the subject like a nervous dog. It rained hard and the rain insisted on appearing in the twenty sentences. Which troubled him more. An abundance of nouns each with a holy ghost of a certain place contained inside them. Don't think, swing. The paragraph assembled, gathered momentum, sentence by sentence, and he resisted it as he would a block of salted meat. The solos of Randy Rhoads, they mattered but how. And a new theory of the Baroque. He wrote, nervously, imagining an audience that knew more than he did. Leashes rattled, a strong wind grazed the trees, and baby birds no bigger than a child's thumb strained and gasped for a trickle of regurgitated slop. You have to attack the notes, hit them hard, midwife a reluctant crowning. It's in the fingers yes but also lower in the body where you feel the song first, mostly. He considered glissando, his predilection for its glossy passage a possible failure. Vowels made him long for shadowy corners, a place to hide (by hanging) his head. He wanted to write that all metaphors were lazy but knew it was wrong, a matter of taste, or how you allowed the words to happen when in concert they at last abandoned the page, very much in the end like music, so yes then, yes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Window, That Ending

"Music is the obvious analogy." For that project, yes, but for this one, sandwiches. The meaty hero, the folds of the wrap, the slimly BLT, sweet 'n sour sludge of the historic PB&J. What the sentence will bear and go on bearing. While the line is a matter of what's happening in time, measurably so. That "is what's going on with that."

He argued, feeling as he did it was the wrong battle for him. Eye turning (in the whole head turning) to the lilac sprouts he still can't cut away. The new lawnmower gleams in the sun like a hydrant. While setting, angrily, his father was mute. "We have to get away from the church." They said, conceding an old argument, for which he felt only fatigue.

And at night after instead of walking under the stars - first night in how many it didn't rain - he gorged. He deadened himself. Yes, that's the word at last. A way of not feeling, or feeling badly. Say it again: deadened. "The sentence is a naturally occurring unit of speech." But who am I paraphrasing, who am I glossing.

His chest aches and he wakes too late to work. A tiger lily blossom falls rustling into green fronds outside the window, that ending.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

There Might Be Some Real Rhymes

"To eat is to grow is to die." And then what else about desire. To be reminded that one has a body - this body, this catalog of wants and needs - can be akin to a rough music. Why, for example, are they called line "breaks" and not sentence "breaks?" Is it a matter of formality. He wondered over coffee, writing, or loyalty to ideologues with whose work he was familiar. These are sentences. They are not lines. Can I say that, that way.

But this business about food as the new (as the now) presence of the formerly absent mother, the "not-good-enough" mother. Resistance torques the process of gathering, of processing data how. "Your father will be furious when he finds out." I have a specific enough fear that any moment of hunger will not end and so. A folding in the belly distinctly baroque. Having said this once, even entered it in conversation, but to what end. Sleeping late, reading Reading Boyishly. As if coming to a stone wall in the forest, gun hefted, alert to what marker, what is bounding what.

The garden remains wet, weedy, the tomatoes stunted. "Not that its exactly you or your issues, but I think there might be some real rhymes," you wrote. Which leaves me here, again, in the twentieth sentence, uncertain how to end or what did I say.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Down Like A Yes

Perspective I muttered - or considered muttering - upon waking. Jeremiah's feet pressed against my throat, the Horning's new dog - a Husky cross - already crying at the end of its long tether.

Herbs dry in the kitchen, the covers of paperbacks slowly curl. The lawnmower doesn't work, or didn't. What else is new. He wrote while his coffee went down like a yes.

Though on 112 outside the traffic was going away, always away. As deer leap away into bracken. In my dream, Sophia imitated a bear that didn't run but only peered curious where the stone wall sank into leaves. Or was that before I fell to sleep without reading. A paragraph composed of how many lines will serve the subject. And then can the same subject bear more than one paragraph. Eight lines or fourteen is about what. You can't rent cats.

Or blue jays, mourning doves, crows, warblers. Chickadees preening where the rose bush sags. An ant crosses the desk, doubles back, going where. The hours ahead feel soft, uncertain though accounted for. One sentence calls itself a line and the whole lot of them tremble with laughter then like the five of wands fallen on the floor before a reading.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Leaving A Sour Ash

When I begin the tiger lilies are closed, as lanolin all folded, and when I finish - when the twenty sentences land themselves - they are open, soft tongues lapping for sunlight. In the parlance of seamstresses, a "wrinkle" is a memory. A crease in which the past tucks itself, to nap maybe, remain preserved. Our yesterdays age, acquire a hint of their container, their taste an inflection of our body's own recollection. But I would rather write about desire.

Or dreams of old houses, former hotels, rickety ones by the sea. Snowshoe lessons in Spring. Tough muscular lovers, traveling kitchens, potbelly stoves in which photographs burn, leaving a sour ash. I hear the line before I think it. So "seamstresses" creates "crease." I like "s" sounds okay but the hard "c" is too many rocks or being hit by someone you love. I can say it this way maybe. If you don't trust the sentence as an aural event it won't matter what your intentions are. Am I writing about desire yet.

Longing has a family of chemicals that lallygag around it in the brain. Followers, sycophants. One can be addicted to anticipation. The moment of gorging is the moment of fear that one's needs won't be met ever or won't be met again for a long long time. This is it, or could be. Snow spit, storm clouds - fire in the cave - and your belly aching as if folded into thirds.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Luminous, A Lunar, To A Leaping Degree

Fear of hunger. And in response, never just eating but gorging. Asceticism as long as I can, from waking until four maybe five o'clock then bam (bam!). Satiation and beyond to heaviness and guilt, like swallowing an heirloom dresser (or this - the wolf's body filled with rocks and resewn - yes, that). So what way to put this - what other way. Try: desire to an exquisitely felt (to a luminous, a lunar, to a leaping) degree and then the meeting - more of a tamping, no a pounding, down - of that desire. Kill it dead - is it a hydra - then call (then recall) Iolaus.

Uh . . . . Reading Boyishly framing this dilemma in ways I'd rather not. The mother, the mother's body. What body is that. My response is to become clinical, historical. Analytical. "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical." But it is related to need, yes? Need, want. And then somehow, also, anticipation.

I say - but am I parroting, glossing some other or merely expressing - that gorging is "boyish." And can I say it that way without judgment? Buddha's middle path vs. Jesus' anorexic spider crawl into nails, onto the cross - how does that (does that) figure in.

A man bounds his desire as here with twenty sentences (say) - is that moving towards an answer - is it a cloyingness, or satisfying?

Friday, July 4, 2008

When Pointed North

Deer. Two live, one dead. The dead one a fawn, tucked in the high wet grass, a crow tearing at the spotted hide, watching traffic. Vermont into Massachusetts at 5 a.m. was mist, then yellow light beneath heavy clouds only sometimes giving way. Ascutney passed, less impressive then when pointed north.

What writing is this. Page - or prince - of pentacles as both obstacle and soul of the work. Numerous voices seeing - saying - sorrow. "I won't call it sadness but . . ." And truly, where nine lifts leaving the village, I began crying, orating - eulogizing - while the tears went on streaming. All the way past the old farm, a preponderance of crows in a field I recall as nearly fatal. I still like that line, I do.

In my absence, tiger lilies. The blossoming pale torpedoes, like mallow nougat melting, opening. Dreaming of a hand-crafted book of haibun, mine. Saying while driving, that imaginary audience that follows me everywhere, now there's a form I feel no need to ruin, edit, take apart.

"Time flies." "As if I never left." Yet where am I now reassembling the diligent self.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bracken, Blackberries, Bear Fur

What about coffee, what about a song. Then what about a kiss, or fixing my chainsaw, whose teeth leaped out on a snowy morning last. In my mind - truly, a place - I am always somewhere else. Woodshedding sentences, watching home movies from the 1970s, retaling dreams, or else satisfied. Can count on one hand the days that I'm content. Which is not true, nor measurable. Though "down the road" - can one say I'm up - hardly - is always one (of those days, I mean), as if to compensate. Is that thorough enough for your accountant soul? As dense tangled as bracken, blackberries, bear fur? She said (smokily, she had that style) through half-closed eyes, I've been hearing things about you. Flutter of the hands, is that color on my face? While all the time decisions were being made (remade, maybe). I can't even hardly remember what had me so pissed off exactly one week earlier. Yet the chain of goodbyes does echo as a two thirds nautilus, a buckled (a buckling) tide. Of what union is that - what merger - oh that. Oh you, you folded-up lotus on stone wall at dusk, you benches facing spirit while the sun inserts its own verb. The rain was hardly what they called on it for. And now swallows widen berth in the most alert sky (I) ever did saw. From my lair, I lied. And then went about proclaiming where the twentieth sentence - here - would have me, and you, thus.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Boys Recycling Their Woes

The notebook will only hold so much, as can be said of most sentences. Mourning doves - as others - mate for life. Leading to pamphlets entitled "How To Get Your Widowed Pigeon Flying Again." The dust rose in the wake of some passing carriage then lingered longer than one would have expected. It came to mind then, a river, its slow bend, much like the wind.

Only so much that . . . that you would want it to hold anyway. Is that right? Whiny bad boys recycling their woes. But I can't keep my fists clenched, or my eyes open long enough. It's too cold, there's a bearskin to don. Don, dawn, dim is a dim doesn't dare do. Consonants . . . there are your bad boys, your cocked at the hip boys.

And on this hand, lavender. Absolutes. Sibilants, triremes. Sailing ships into bloody mist, ascending beyond story arcs into . . . Or to crash, hard, as in "coming down." Like a great dropped cake at a drunk's second wedding.

Look, if it hurts, it hurts. While sleeping I dreamed of angels ridding themselves of whale bone corsets, happily, their laughter rolling like envelopes willed with thunder.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Fixed Fight vs. Bear Sightings

It was morning, or morning time, and what bird whose voice was like a red jewels pelting. All night rolling through most vivid dreams, themes of which included homelessness, time travel, "dancing tomatoes." The wild strawberries outside, did I crush them walking, there in the dark while it rained. It was not raining, but it had, earlier, and felt like it might again. The spy (who loved everyone, he was a Christian spy, a spy for Christ) opened up his journal and wrote, "lost is not lost always." Two cups of coffee, gelatinous light, and peonies giving but the slimmest of damns.

But ask - or incline to asking (would you ever) - what happens in the space between. Bodies or sentences. A story is for people who can't handle theory (paraphrased (I believe)). Cranberry juice holds the Merlot fine in terms of color but the taste of it going down inspired multiple bouts of punctuation. What the sentence means vs. how it goes about meaning is like what as well. A fixed fight vs. bear sightings "in the field." On the ground maybe. Anyway is less interesting than just writing it. Merely writing it.

She entwined laurel where her ankle bone proclaimed (accepted projections of) desire. The sound of crying on the telephone is mostly silence, hiccups, fragments. There was the gunfighter who took up painting pansies (he had a firm hand), there was the priest with a gift for making salad. I was there when they did it, thus the - thus this - sentence.