The kettle is always found where you left it. Oh for a pair of torn jeans, oh for the perennial lift. Snow falling in a Paris garden. Intimations of some more glorious state. You left and I have tried to say you left without adding the silent equivocation and always I have failed.
One seeks patience. One dims all lamps. All night without dreams or at least dream unattended by memory. You cannot be the apple in the wooden bowl in the painting by Rembrandt and yet . . . In the lacunae, my love.
My sodden black glove. Once the conspiracy has taken root, reason flees for the hills. Nobody believes an umbrella man. That photograph you took of me – long since misplaced though hardly forgotten – belongs on some fool’s mantle. Be careful or love will find you wanting.
The fisher of men was too busy baiting his hook to help me untangle my dreams. In your last letter, you mentioned audacity. Sparrows fly in and out of the barn at what seem like perilous speeds. It’s a nice day for tea, a nice day to feed fish and pretend that war never happened.
The secret to all good writing is to know that you can’t make a mistake so long as you are hearing right. Seeing the light? Even rhyme is subject to the great undoing. Ghost is a kind word, another way of seeing the real self. As in, that spider plant looks healthy.
One inquires so as to know yet the act of inquiry – arising as it does from a sense of lack – is itself a kind of knowing. So. One eats cookies for breakfast, one casts a kind of spell. Cast iron no less. And thus.
One’s writing is an evasion. Or rather, a theft. The grand cosmological design bereft of a few sentences. Thus this. Thus thus.
It’s a matter of trust! I keep saying the same thing which is to say that silence is only partially fructive. Which is another way of saying what God isn’t as if God was that. Could I be more productive? Could I scale the last shelf into the lapidified air all to kneel before the one who is not – but why not – ever there?
One laughs, watching how easy it is to write. Just say it! And so all those empty mornings are suddenly valuable. Wood-shedding. One struggles to maintain a useful fire.
The dog is the father of the child who is father of the man. Don’t talk to me about co-pilots. Those apples are meant for pie. My stomach is grist for Heaven. You wake up, you lurch down the stairs.
Aspirin equals true forgiveness. One anticipates a fatal experience. Is befuddled? You can see, as through a window, the frozen goldfish. What I am getting at is a rhythm implied by electricity.
Keep talking. The combustible present absent a token. One asks a question without expecting any answer. Never mind that direction we discussed. I’m drinking from a new bowl now.
At dawn an empty clothesline, through which both horses can be seen waking up. A penumbral method of attaining grace. What remains illusive is not unuseful. We traded quips outside the meeting house, fingering black lapels. My God is your grim reaper.
Oh apples how I love thee. To be or not to be is almost certainly not the question. On the other hand. Swans in one’s dreams signify fear of a deepening unworthiness. These words!
Peas and birds. The lingering aftereffects of writing sentences for four years straight. One accepts judgment, one stands ready in their cell. Snow on the barn roof, Buddha grinning in the eaves. I have no investments to speak of, at least not the way you understand the word.
Time passes and leaves no wake hence our inclination to create. Our inclination to make? Oh pass me another slice of apple pie and tell me again how your mother fears the sea. Yet one arises at an odd hour and stirs the stove and steps aside and expects nothing. At last, the moon.
It is a pleasure to write this way. One is in process, indifferent to product. The apples on the table do not claim red. Folded napkins are a comfort. In the other room, a cat tidies its paws after eating.
The recipe called for pepper, God called for garlic. Oil lamps stirred by an indifferent wind. We turned to Ecclesiastes, we claimed that we were guided. Channeled texts my foot! Yet never quite without coffee.
Without coffee one can never rush the gates of Heaven. What is attainable is maintainable. Inalienable? I got my enlightenment at Josiah Crest’s Radiant Zendo of Lovely Impermanence, you? Oh you, always kvetching about spinal curvature.
It is a pleasure to write this way indeed! To repeat is to insist and thus is the prerogative of the silenced. Yet proceed with caution lest the angels send you back for another lesson in humility. Don’t eat apples, pat every cow you see. Grace as always hides in the peas.
One wakes – stumbles to piss – gasps between stars. Horses step delicately over the frost, heavy presences, nervous observers. Not the breeze which slips hymnally through surrounding trees. Studying the veins in one’s hand, one remembers St. John. Luminous apples indeed.
Glittering salt! Fragments of yesterday’s activity, ragged chickens scratching the mud. How little we need to do when you get down to it. When you get down to it, keep going. This is what Jack Gilbert meant when he found Byzantium in was it a pear?
Ophidiophobic at 5 a.m.. Flavored coffee begs many questions, not one of which is solved by aspirin. Your smile is a gleaning, a comfort. One awakens, one does. And in the same circle of light that yesterday yielded only books!
Bakers? I trembled when it came time for my medicine. A cold night the stoves themselves could only rant against, mute iron fists. We say beneath when we mean between. I am instructed by strange dogs gratefully.
Coffee. Three shooting stars. The universe in perpetual decay. Disarray? All my best arguments are with myself.
Dreamless sleep first. Notes for the day. Burning the bridge to impossible is not an acceptable mode. One insists on who they are. Freedom is not made by language.
Creaking trees, crunching snow. Think of bells in dark towers long unrung. I followed the dog gratefully off the road. Small stones wrapped in rice paper, given as gifts outside the temple. Memory is as the present moment does.
All words are de facto lies. There are no crowds, only fractured solitudes. As in: he wrote he wrote. Against the cold, a monkish cowl. The loneliness of understanding love.
Behind my shoulder, a disgraced pontiff. The mattress depresses as one prepares to pray. The gift of eloquence finally understood as not a gift at all. Yet wordiness, as always, attends.
Long walks in snowy rain, talking out loud to the dog. One arrives at what is essential by way of suffering. The path is optional but not the destination. I love you and want only for you to be naturally joyful.
Though earlier one wept, considering the damage. Your prose poems magnify what in me yearns to inspire. I say I say. Behind the clouds, the moon and behind the moon, you.
Truth? Coming home I wondered who would notice my footprints. Return a spiritual practice. In my hands now a new project not so different from the old one.
A running dog, a dream of wolves. I cannot help you, nor manage most social settings. The argument at last has been settled. The dog crawls back into bed, I kneel to pray, I hold you the only way that I can.
A blurred blue sky gives way – is overcome perhaps – obscured at least – by gunmetal gray. Winter is icumen in. Appointments, stymied embraces, folds of skin the color of coffee. It was always like this, even when it wasn’t.
Or so. I say. Love. Is the new blurred blue.
I went back to Toronto, letters in hand, and arrived at a funeral. Her penmanship had suffered. Consult the preceding stanza for directions. It gives way to threats of storm.
It gives way is the wrong way to say it. Later, one could taste the coffee, could replay certain parts of the conversation. You move mountains only when you don’t give a damn about the deer who live there. Pissing, a Christmas carol could be heard, thin as a reed in the distance.
It seems that her voice cracked and the plumbing was always spluttering in the walls. Discussing the death penalty on mattresses, watching the Montreal sky out the window. Something difficult, something blue. Knocking on the door, waiting, collar turned up against the snow.
I woke to voices. One wakes, one arrives. What is hesitation for? What does it mean to say I am content when you are not? Thus morning.
Thus this. Twenty sentences as proof that one lives because it is evidence that one works. And yet and yet. Must one submit to must? I dreamed of testimony in favor of Jesus, given in time.
I want the room to fill with light. I want to feel your hand slip into mine. Mind? In any case, a narrative of which one is scared. The circumstances under which you wear a wedding ring.
Or hear the bedding sing. We wait a long time for that moment and when it comes there is only ever disappointment. If you are paying attention. The priests became models of betrayal long before the present millenium dawned. It’s all over.
It never began? Do you begin to see the problem? I cannot continue to write letters to people I do not know. One makes poetry, one makes a prayer. Over tea, watching shadows on the wall, alone as always, saying it’s okay when it’s not and never was.