To forget about the self

 [Poetry], Nobody Poems  Comments Off on To forget about the self
Aug 282011
This spirit of mine is something unstudied, 
Inexorable and white, alive in solemn permanence.
---Lord Dermond
To forget about the self at the self's
Uttermost extent; it is the self
Made a self at last.

To survive in vigor
The confinement of the eye,
The glistering pinhole through which

The self is summoned
As by a bronze gong
Until all the air is peacock feathers

Is one way--in wild trial--
That the self, and its amiable 
Particulars may be forgotten.

Cheered onward in a doubtful dark
By numerous rumoring murmurs
And silken sibilances, as if

Drawn on by a forceful river
Tumbling a blind man downstream
To the sound of thickening confusion

Is another way for the self to go,--
On and on, on and on,
In dark discovery.

To feel our broadening sexual silks
Pulled and pulled, as through
A pinhole, through the self

And out of the self and into
Another, and that self flowing 
And pulling as if a river until

Our colors lay piled and swollen
Before our adoring, a silken sail
Full-bellied with desiring

And with desiring only--a wind
That moves through the self the self
Had left behind and abandoned

On the shore of no more.
Is that another way, a wayless way
Of want and wont?

Dead or dreaming, the self
Disappears, and in its place,
In the place of the self spilled out

Of itself, displaced and streaming,
The self that had left its eye behind
Like an abandoned portal,

The self that had had an ear
And has an ear no more, bereft, as it was,
Among night voices in a dark place,

The self that had had a sex
Torn away in a shimmering wind
Until the self has a self no more,--

Is only this, this fathomless
Wildness without a where
Without a how, without a why,

Only this this,--in the place of that,
Nearby, nearly here,
In the place of the place and in place of it.

A contemptuous wind
Crawls like sludge
Over motley rocks.


The Blind Man

 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on The Blind Man
Aug 272011

Because I am blind and walk agape
And beat out rough rhythm with my stick
Like the fascination of the sea
I can create, as in Yeats' dream,
Man in the soul of God
And batter out a place 
Among twilit immensities
To dwell in that contempt,
Giving bitterness a face.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

Because I am a blind old man
And came blindly howling hence
To fumble with a stick, I demand,
Passion of my decrepitude unsung,
A gallery where bright heroes hung
Stand each for that passion
That pitched them to their deaths;
And I demand it built
Behind the eye and in the heart
Of God and his burning son;
All glory in the uneaten bud.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

I have heard on the walks and ways
That give my confession to a stone
That some with bitter inward breaths
And some in necessity of fashion
Live slave to what words have wrung
Out of man's contemptible mash
And nail to each star each part,
As if misery made flesh were all.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

I can see because I am blind
How each tiresome human vine
In eyeless arrogance of its kind
Sprouts like a worm in its own food,
Divine soul all lumped with mud.
Each blind root heaves its back to the sun
In perilous ignorance of its own blood.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

Although I am blind and cannot see
Bleak wreckage of the dark tide,
Rank human ecstasies and defeats,
I know what mysteries abide
And carve these rude words upon my stick:
We must feed what we beget;
Imagination shall provide
Some unsought froth as yet, rank spillage
Of the glittering sublime.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

A Bitten Rind

 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on A Bitten Rind
Aug 272011

Because I am old and refuse my death
I have been bitter and I've been kind;
Skeletal bitterness my enmities shook,
Kindness flowed from head to foot.
But of all those wind-gaunt faces
I have worn as if strapped in the traces
I most adore the look
Of an old withered apple, its withdrawn glance,
All sweetness concentrated
To an unrelenting taste:
    An old bitten rind, bitten rind.

But because I am bitter
And dislike the taste
Of joys overblown in any wind
I have come to sing in the waste
Of an old bitten rind:
"Bitten rind, bitten time,
Under stars or under sky
The right emotion of a dirty crook
Has nobleness to bless or curse,
Confirm or rescind the pledge
Made by our bodies as they lie
Under this dirty hedge."
    An old bitten rind, bitten rind.

Having tasted thus
The fruit of an obscure look
Or the sharp meaning of a song
Under dull words in a book
I laugh at all awhile
And I myself forsake;
For nothing's worth the riddle
And no man's worth his wake,
I stole a blind man's fiddle
And sing what I forsake.
    An old bitten rind, bitten rind.

I have nothing but am a queen:
Monstrosities sworn must heel
Forced by a hand unseen
As dog to its master's whistle wheels.
And although I am a great queen
With stars on my fingers for rings
And although I dance like a drunk
And with the seen and unseen wink
I am driven by passion to sing:
    An old bitten rind, bitten rind.