A wisp of cloud mistaken for the moon. West and a little bit South. Discomfiting as in “where are we in the day?” Time and place are both fictions, created to sustain the ultimate narrative, I. I still have that picture of Jesus you gave me for it hangs in the basement where I write.
Yet this poem is not that poem though the inner cynic (and his massive bloody cigar) remarks that one day it could be. I’m pretending to do math while working on a sonnet, that’s what. The dream made clear that I not only avoid all teachers, I actively obfuscate their goal. Did Gertrude Stein speak the way she wrote? By and by wonder.
One does reach “a point.” In which time any number of writing implements were stolen. Thus one could say later, “we expect a book.” What rain, what camellia blossoms. If I have to read once more how Jesus and the Buddha shared a boat going down the Ganges . . .
The motivational speaker said when you wake up and look in the mirror, ask yourself, what kind of asshole am I going to be today. Timbers of cumulus or rather puffy white clouds reminiscent of a certain castle. The poet was not used to thinking of herself as anything other than a child. Your lost shoes at last. Broadly, excoriation.
The teeth of the poor are motivation for salvation. The holy voice grows faint in a sea of alien voices. In 1925, Hitler published Mein Kampf, a portion of which was composed in prison. Bubonic plague has not been eradicated, but treatments do exist. Also, swords from the Civil War fetch a handsome price.
A port of call that one has a bad feeling about, that one prefers to not go ashore. The “teeth” of a comb, the lattice work characteristic of some rose gardens. There is an inclination to be dismissive of texts that were excluded from the Old Testament. Yet history is not without a (discoverable) reductive narrative. In my dream, the first few words were excluded while the last was clearly “function.”
A bookstore in which some real gems were found. We ate horehound candy on a hill that overlooked a swampy river, weeks away from your (untimely is not the word really) death. To what will you dedicate the forthcoming couple of sentences? As hard as it may seem, one has to keep their focus on content, not on form. As I often say to unbelievers, the Holy Spirit is not a bird and you weren’t either.
Writing is a necessary disclosure regardless of intention (a truth often revealed in subject verb disagreement or parenthetical afterthought). If you speak with the heart of a sinner, and hear bells from the distant church, are you not being given a chance? Monstrous diction, vintage knives. Absolute truth is a virtuous commodity, as hard to hold as scalding tea. We are between full moons, we are grateful for the sky.
You were wrong about that preponderance of crows line. I remembered it driving down route 112, yawning and wondering what the day was going to bring. All I can say is that plastic lawn chairs serve the same purpose as chickens. A dream of Rembrandt, a dream of John Denver. Your macro is my spiritual practice.
We stepped outside and found a dollar bill. The attachment to certain stones is no better than another. What you have a hard time with is the fact that all of this is unreal – there’s no part of it to be saved. Rips in the screen are letting in bugs. The trains in Holland are full of dreamers.
Manifest a bottle of wine, a circle of friends, a small fire, famous songs. Between backstage and performance – what is that space and why does one savor it? Shades of mackerel, shades of blue. The wheelbarrow upended against the maple tree I keep meaning to cut. We could raise lambs, we could sell wild mourning doves.
The back fence repeated itself. It is my experience that the more attention one pays to dreams, the more likely one is to discover the seams through which God pours a mercurial light. Not confession so much as a 1970’s camper rusting behind the barn. Spiders do indeed have surnames. Our guide had feet that resembled weathered saddles and a smile so insistent it delivered us to the Lord.
We picked up broken chairs all morning and beneath one found a picture of your grandmother when she was young and living in an orphanage in Boston. Life is what’s behind what happens. A lowish rumble of thunder, the silver tantrum of wind and rain. It was like the Lord tossing bracelets at a people he’d forgotten. Contractions have their place.
We visited other states and returned unimpressed. Poetry is a lot more fun when you’re not trying to impress other poets. The inherent bias of sentences for time is what’s blocking you right now. Don’t be new, be you. What if waking up is like lilac, which is to say, beautiful and all, but a bit on the brief side?
Opportunity slips in without knocking. You can fall into anything, not just love. We watch a lot of television but who really cares? He could take or leave alcohol and preferred to take it, okay? Remember the guy who walked into the zendo just as sesshin was ending and said loudly “can somebody tell me how to find route seven?”
Drops of rain on each pane of glass, perfectly placed. Take note of who you fight with in your mind – they’re going to be your best teachers. Peaches, blueberries, appointments closer to noon. We are always angling for what did you say? The storm passed and in its wake we were cooler, better able to breathe.
A mouthful of coffee grounds is something to do. Heat lightening to the north, salmon-colored clouds southeast. A rooster cries a couple of yards over and you can climb into the sound, you can live in it, it lasts forever. What might one call a Thoreauvian theory of time? We are still picking up refuse from a storm that happened years ago.
Yet in all that walking, there was not even a hint of bear and so we came back saddened, heavy in a way we resist. The neighbor’s dog growled as we approached and so we said quietly “good morning (insert name of dog here)” and turned around. The old streetlight, the old gang, the old way of saying please love me. One is always angling for the graveyard. And another way of saying it is to say there’s nothing to do and never was.
I woke angry, but the anger cleared, and so the walk went smoother, like tea just so. A cool breeze preceded the thunder which arrived as dawn was slipping off its veils. Luck or God, you decide, but leave me out of it. Certain streaks of cloud suggested an energy that was in love with itself and held little regard for the comfort of others. Be not afraid, indeed.
A theory of poetry that involved umbrellas is perfect for the moment! If you’re going to sleep in a manger, I hope you’re not asthmatic. One keeps pliers on hand, one is always ready for “the show.” You get closer to the quill and think you’re there but you’re not, not really. Try this one for size: there’s nobody out there to save.
I forget the sentences I thought earlier, walking into the forest under the moon. Fear in all areas, making me a child. The little boy says dance, he says make people happy. So there must be something to lift then that only I can see.
Certain people I miss, others I just remember. We are coming back to what was once called “the bird-shaped hole in the heart.” Relearn what ruin means. You are justified by truth, which creates you anew each moment, and so.
He “leaned” on coffee, he “listed” in the lecture hall. A spooked killdeer takes flight and minutes later one hears a song. Her dog came back smelling vaguely of skunk. I dreamed of the old barn where as a child you raised turkeys in secret.
All fathers pose a problem to their sons but remember that all sons are capable of resolution. Circles meet in a defined way or they aren’t circles. Writing came easily – some writing did – and so I call myself a writer. Imagine each sentence outside of time, outside the paragraph.
There is nothing to do is the last lesson before learning begins. He worked on a journal entry – what we call rewriting – knowing it would be his last. Your lark doesn’t nest anymore than you do but then you knew that, didn’t you? What I’m saying is, Emily Dickinson’s letters are good summer reading.
Is it me or are we all prone to deity? I missed the old dog at 4 a.m., traipsing along between round hay bales, the moon listing in its bower of mist. The tractor ruts kept our feet dry, relatively. The test is you can make a god of anything except God. Like this: I prayed for contact and you made contact and so now what.
One achieves a heightened state by killing mosquitoes without guilt. A perky catbird sang on the satellite dish. The bear paused lazily a few feet past the rotting pumpkins as if to indicate choice. One might be money, another well-known poetry. The sickness manifesto can take years to finish.
Two nights running, such sweet dreams! We huddled in the truck bed, smiling and kissing, while a city burned beyond the highway’s edge. Ruddy light inside the stove, a mind considered a hymnal. Your tradition, my stubborn practice. Is it time yet for waking up?
The guilty pause. He wrote there was no such thing as a stranger. We make up our mind for the “whole wide world.” Memory insists that it knows something we don’t, that’s why it’s so hard to let go of. I waited for you all night outside the cave and at dawn realized that you were never coming back but still sat there till noon letting hope get good and gamey.
In a sitting position, one’s thighs fan out across the chair. Why did I write that? Language is optional, meaning is not. We are all tracked, one way or the other. Fratricide remains illegal I’m afraid. Spirit see what the ego dimly senses. She said enlightenment was bullshit, just another way to glorify one’s radiant personal dysfunction. We met for ice cream and it was as if we met for ice cream. Form equals pressure, content spills across a transom. An orgiami practice, a kite-making workshop, twenty sentences a day. Reference bleeds. When scaling a ladder, first you look up. What a fine teacher you turned out to be! His wedding ring fell off, rolled across a bridge, and as he pursued it, he passed an old television set, its guts hanging out, its face cracked and blistered. Consider the possibility that what we call content is just space bounded by what we agree to call form. In other words, no sentence at all. Illusory cauldrons, boot leg recipes. A box of peaches above which wasps dance, while we loll in the hammock, revisiting old kisses. Grace by whatever means necessary. We burned our marching orders, we sang as we loped across the countryside.
The space in which reading becomes a communication avoidance mechanism. Thought and thinking are not related. All these kids are sticks but you are a really big stick. In a dream then, the love I believe I was denied.
We moved in the direction of tea and many people celebrated. This sentence feels wrong and – surprise surprise – so does the one coming up. Channeling is all the rage right now, especially for people who give a shit about separate gods. I am that.
One draft writing is not what it wants to be. Can a road linger? Does a bear copulate in hidden groves that human beings pass only once every thirty years or so? He asked – it was a good question – what the point was of trails.
A writer is not better than. That old game we used to play – lifting the parachute and racing underneath it – took a lot of hands to make it fun. Injustice only decades later subject to the needed amends. It was nice yesterday, talking to you in the sunlight, about nothing much at all.
What then is really necessary? The Kingdom is obvious but you have to give up the world and who wants to lose Coney Island hot dogs? Grudges meet what hidden need? A real blessing elevates exactly none of the five senses.