A prayer that includes the word “crustacean.” A spell that keeps bad men away. Explains why some men are bad at all? Well a night to ourselves anyway. A fire from which no body is excluded, and a woman who makes it so. Do you see the problem, do you understand my dilemma, do you. Bread not bombs, books not bombs. Roses in every moment as if beginning itself were familial, a beauty. What letter has finally arrived, what light is possible in which it can be read. I broke the promise, shuttered the church, I forgot everything except what pointed at family. Answered the call? Found my love in the hills, made love to her by a river. Locusts and wild honey until the real grail appeared, map made flesh, the territory greater than any uttered word. The crows say nobody cares about your sentences, the fox says write them anyway. Out back past the horses, professing, pleading, weeping. The cosmos neither for nor against us. And yet.
Moonlight on slick ice, so cold it hurts. Always this hurt, always this anger. Injustice everywhere. Not why but how. Gary Gilmore leaning to see the shooters, John Denver rushing at the sea. The dogs die and my loneliness grows vast and dense, like a garden nobody tends. Orchids are not a metaphor but sex must be? What is allowed, what is desired. What is called forth. Your body a horizon my breath just catches. North north and west west. Even off the map with you I run into a limit. As if movement ends but never in stillness. On purpose? “Soul” is just a word of course but why. On my knees again before you, uttering with my foolish tongue a prayer the world forgot.
After the storm, after the marriage. After poetry and after women. After all this time. Letters arrive from a forgotten town in the interior indicating we are not yet finished learning what is true and what is not. Refuse then even mercy? Scratching escape plans on the walls of a prison in which you are the only jailer. Reading Freud (Anna not Sigmund) over coffee, taking notes for later. The psalms in Latin, John’s Gospel in Latin. How you look at me when I am trying to decide what trail to follow next. Crows on dead trees out past the river, their cries cold and sharp, like being guillotined in Paris in the eighteenth century. Forgetting as spiritual practice, i.e., remembering as an error forgetting is given to amend. After writing but not yet after speech. Dissolution begins with bodily death, not meditation or insight, remember this. After the map and after the territory. After sextants and travel. After a music one cannot find anywhere save alone in darkness on their knees. Bring what is sacred with you, I always do, so you say, you who never found a relationship you couldn’t desecrate with charming rhymes and semen. A cry in the heart growing louder and more insistent. From what can you not be separate? A space in which we translate everything from body to spirit, spirit to essence, and from there into beginning. A silence after unto which no syllable is worthy, unto which even the idea of worthiness is an error. I mean wordiness? Well, us anyway. Always us.
The river flowing under banks of ice, silent and dark, without intent. Fionnghuala’s art gone beyond what is familiar, what is childish ending in an angel the cosmos invites her to wrestle with all the long night. Forgive me, child, I did not know the way out of Eden, I gave up too early, I built a mansion where a cottage would’ve done. Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists. Is that it? Is that the poem? Currents of which I am merely an eddy, a spiral braid of the cosmos briefly naming itself? Birth is always a celebration, death only sometimes, why, because there is only one mother. A class of being in which non-being does not factor. Sometimes driving west I become a pine tree and realize how mistaken I have been about stillness and hunger. Ease with language – must this too be released. Kate suggest a trip to India, a walk up Arunachala, I tell her I’ll run it by the telepathic effluorescent octopus the mushrooms showed me in lieu of God. When in therapy you no longer need to discuss your father, that’s when. Not happy so much as unanchored, how else do we recall the flow we both long for and are. Is it possible I am mistaken about this capability to name literally everything? In the morning a crow cries and decades later the answer is given. This this, amongst other things.
At some point I stopped even wanting second chances. Bloodied my knuckles on the world not for justice but so that suffering might continue unabated. Truman and Hito are my brothers, the camp guards at Dachau are my brothers. My god my god why did you forsake me, did you forsake me.
Waking early to kick the furnace, make coffee, mutter and stretch. Not a bad life – is that why suddenly I don’t want it to end? Pace crusty snow in starlight, the indifferent stars, wondering how come nobody told me it’s all okay? Moonlight whispering maybe because you knew all along?