The Thing Itself

 [Poetry], The Sword Inside  Comments Off on The Thing Itself
Aug 292011

In any universal force
     or unifying vision
An emptiness of intent inhabits,
     a blank of indecision.
To try and grasp the whole of Man 
     must blur individuation
And see all wide variation One,
     innocent of division.

Who can blame them for their blankness,
     or feel themselves assured
That they have flossed Reality
     from the asterisked Obscure?

Wherever truth lies
     it lies becalmed,
Unmoved in its sutures
     by winter storms or squalls.
We come into our knowing
     neither too early nor too late
But just in a moment's glowing
     and take what we may take.

If you don't, as I don't,
     know just what a thing is
Sit silent, or politely ask
     the thing itself its business.

The sum of all the soul

 [Poetry], [Translations], Nobody Poems  Comments Off on The sum of all the soul
Aug 282011
The sum of all the soul
Is lazy exhalations,
Smoke rings in rings in rings
And their derivations.
So says the brune cigar
(Burning wisely the while)
Letting shooken cinders char
From the clear kiss of fire.
So the smokes of poems
Insinuate a smile;--
Dismiss thisness, singer,
            should you debut,
Reality's vile.
Too-precise a sense erases
Literature's half-guesses.



 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on Policy
Aug 272011

When Twyla Tharp begins again
Her own sweet body to command,
Charm of personality or face must vanish
Into the reality of pattern.
Soldiers lined up pidgeon-toed
At the mosque, shot out their enemies' heart.
What lies still beating in the cart?
Was there passion in that slaughter?

There was a dream of feasting, and we fed on dreams.
Instinct in the sculptor's palsied hand
Creates where it divides, eating to the face of man
As if stone were so much rotten wood.
Although young, it seemed all dignity must be spent
On sinking love or suborned monument.
Where was the gamble if the loss lacked reality?
We were young and solemn and did what we would.

St Augustine

 [Poetry], Character Poems, Sonnets, Unimagined Things  Comments Off on St Augustine
Aug 272011

"A seed of knowing out of our ignorant fruit must drop.
My pear tree, not Sartre's, rises from the wrong ground,
blossoms and rots in God's green affections;
memorizing Cicero all afternoon, the lagging speeches,
a fist of pebbles in my mouth, shouting at the sea....
a carpet-bagging stumper after my sweet fee.
We threw the golden teardrops uneaten to the hogs---
all boys and wickedness leaping Huck Finn's fence
whitewashed in north Africa. The orchard door
yawned on darkness as we exited, loaded down
and laughing: reality in the act, not the scenery.
A tentacle of happiness, not nausea, gripped me then
coiling my black heart in light like an extra aorta,
fibrous and alive and dangling from God's omnipresence."

Aug 212011
I meditate between the cracks,
And, knowing nothing, proceed to weed,

To tidy into squares the things I need:
The things, if given, I'd not give back.

From my ivory dome upon the ivory hill
Jack must tumble and follow Jill

Until reality has touched them as they are:
Children still, but blessed with scars,

With maps that parse them into parts
Frankensteinian and sparse. 

Aug 212011
Do we make contact with a kiss?
On what do two lips meeting 

Two lips insist?  Did Cleopatra 
Really kiss, who never climbed

The ratty scaffolding behind the stars?
Does love demand reality?

O fools, is what we feel all folderol?
Do hearts connect both ache and cause?

Have we really any more 
Than a projectionist's panache,

Lighting up our solitary dark 
With scenes?  Dreaming in daylight 

What our lonely dreams may mean?
I hunger for reality under pinking skies

At one, at one, 
With the inward of my eye. 

Aug 212011

Cataracts, rapids and furious plumes
Smoke at the waterfall's foot in one
Purgatorial plunge.

Hot clouds of chaos in a boiling sink
Sterilize steel, and kiss the quick
Motions of two hands.

These two images of water, two images
Of ourselves in austere imagination,
Wetly flail.

The yellow raft tips up at the blue, trembling lip
Above the whole effortful journey
In naked air.

Aug 212011

Hey you!  Settle them with cigarettes
Or with fabulous lassoes cast high corral
The jittery arpeggios of choristers,
A most disorderly sorority, drunk
On song and wit as their hale hosannas 
Divot the friendly sky.

The time for uncounted choirs of praise
Zagging the azures in brightened blaze
Is over.  Call the kiddies to their vittles.
Settle down around the plain broad board.
Line the bench with fat behinds, and tuck
The checkered napkins tight
To quell the singers' appetites.

Sit still like an emanation of content,
At the end of singing, at the end of day.
Let blue silk robes fall stately to stiff feet.
Let there be, at last, a last reality,
Without suggestion.  A cold bean soup.
Let leaden lentils lard the golden guts.

“Rehearsing Repetitions on the Rappahannock” Structure Notes

 [Poetry], Endnotes, Rehearsing Repetitions on the Rappahannock  Comments Off on “Rehearsing Repetitions on the Rappahannock” Structure Notes
Aug 212011

A.	Romance, Love
i.	She = landscape;  love and desire explain our place on the earth
ii.	Landscape is just beyond lovers' concern and understanding; address to Noelle
iii. She = landscape;  stars in her hair;  harmonious completion on nature by 
    imagination in tune with desire; night has a human warmth
iv.	Landscape = she; desire leaps out, coloring what is
v.	She is missing;  object of desire dies, yet desire remains;  memory transforms 
    moment to sadness

B.	Futility, Repetition
vi.	Landscape is self-contained and repeats itself;  will this be enough without her?
vii.	Seeking after cause of all;  trapped in objective world
viii.	Organizing separated consciousness;  imagination takes in what is, maps it
ix.	Difficulty of saying what is in terms of self;  repetition calms, gives clues, 
    reduces chaos of what is
x.	Despair, repeat of moods, is our weather;  links self to reality by sharing 
    repetition and circularity

C.	Speech, Words
xi.	Listen to outer reality;  it too speaks as self speaks to itself
xii.Words are not just human;  they are an expression of reality as it is as well;  
    refrains of wind
xiii.	Silence sources the mis-match of words and reality; failure of final correspondence
xiv.	How does speech work to encode our desire to connect with reality;  do these words 
    interact with what is real or not?
xv.	Questioning of what is heard;  is it real, or mere self-projection?
xvi.	Speaker finds his identity in writing down gestures of what is in a way that 
    sharpens inner feeling;  feelings are the inner reality that matches objective reality

D.	Aging, Death
xvii.	Time marches on;  self will die one day
xviii.	Desire for contact with the real inside the limit of time
xix.	Loss of attractiveness;  but not death of desiring;  this is aging;  our hearts are 
    less supple in response to reality, tempted to be didactic
xx.	Mundane reality is insufficient to the spirit's deepest needs
xxi.	Age focuses desire;  its force grows as its time diminishes
xxii.	Nothing new in outer reality is available to be learned;  connection with the 
    spirit of imagination replaces reaching out into the real
xxiii.	Wish for certainty;  weariness at the insufficiency of what reality has delivered
xxiv.	Speech continues to express imagination's desire even in age's lengthening ennui

E.	Meditation, Creative Urge
xxv.	Imagination is considered as capable of tying together inner and outer reality
xxvi.	Meditation = motion in the world.;  the poem is an object
xxvii.	Creativity is in all actions of the mind, shaping and even creating the 
    reality we experience
xxviii.	Reality changes;  we carry its impact with us even when reality is not directly accessible
xxix.	Experience, approached by imagination, can continually refresh the spirit
xxx.	Figurations of reality do not deform that reality;  what is continually re-asserts 
    its completeness independent of imagination

F.	Final Sequence
xxxi.	Humility before the self-sufficiency of reality's self-creating process of Life
xxxii.	Self in the now can be content in contact with reality
xxxiii.	River reflects both reality and our wishes as they project into reality;  
    something there is that is deeper than words or desires
xxxiv.	Reality dances on, we with it;  reality is enhanced by our questioning of it, and 
    our re-imagining it;  experience is sharpened
xxxv.	Reality comes to an end;  and, with  it, the imagination completes its project of creation