I want to give more of my time to others the less I have of it, give it away in a will and testament, give it to the girls’ club, give it to the friends of the urban trees.
Your life is not your own and never was. It came to you in a box marked fragile. It came from the complaint department like amends on an order you did not place with them. Who gave me this chill life.
It came with no card. It came without instruction. It said this end up though I do not trust those markings. I have worn it upside downs. I have washed it without separating and it did not shrink. Take from it what you will. I will
1. How much poison are you willing to eat for the success of the free market and global trade? Please name your preferred poisons.
2. For the sake of goodness, how much evil are you willing to do? Fill in the following blanks with the names of your favorite evils and acts of hatred.
3. What sacrifices are you prepared to make for culture and civilization? Please list the monuments, shrines, and works of art you would most willingly destroy.
4. In the name of patriotism and the flag, how much of our beloved land are you willing to desecrate? List in the following spaces the mountains, rivers, towns, farms you could most readily do without.
5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes, the energy sources, the kinds of security, for which you would kill a child. Name, please, the children whom you would be willing to kill.
After the first glass of vodka you can accept just about anything of life even your own mysteriousness you think it is nice that a box of matches is purple and brown and is called La Petite and comes from Sweden for they are words that you know and that is all you know words not their feelings or what they mean and you write because you know them not because you understand them because you don’t you are stupid and lazy and will never be great but you do what you know because what else is there?
It’s been a long time since my body. Unbearable, I put it down on the earth the way my old man rolled dice. It’s been a long time since time. But I had weight back there. Had substance & sinew, damage you could see by looking between your hands & hearing blood. It was called reading, they told me, too late. But too late. I red. I made a killing in language & was surrounded by ghosts. I used my arsenal of defunct verbs & broke into a library of second chances, the E.R. Where they bandaged my head, even as the black words kept seeping through, like this. Back there, I couldn’t get the boys to look at me even in my best jean jacket. It was 2006 or 1865 or .327. What a time to be alive! they said, this time louder, more assault rifles. Did I tell you? I come from a people of sculptors whose masterpiece was rubble. We tried. Indecent, tongue-tied, bowl-cut & diabetic, I had a feeling. The floorboards creaked as I wept motionless by the rehab window. If words, as they claimed, had no weight in our world, why did we keep sinking, Doctor—I mean Lord—why did the water swallow our almost human hands as we sang? Like this.
Heaven was originally precisely that: the starry sky, dating back to the earliest Egyptian texts, which include magic spells that enable the soul to be sewn in the body of the great mother, Nut, literally "night," like the seed of a plant, which is also a jewel and a star. The Greek Elysian fields derive from the same celestial topography: the Egyptian "Field of Rushes," the eastern stars at dawn where the soul goes to be purified. That there is another, mirror world, a world of light, and that this world is simply the sky—and a step further, the breath of the sky, the weather, the very air—is a formative belief of great antiquity that has continued to the present day with the godhead becoming brightness itself: dios/theos (Greek); deus/divine/diana (Latin); devas (Sanskrit); daha (Arabic); day (English). —Susan Brind Morrow, Wolves and Honey
Gravel paths on hillsides amid moon-drawn vineyards, click of pearls upon a polished nightstand soft as rainwater, self-minded stars, oboe music distant as the grinding of icebergs against the hull of the self and the soul in the darkness chanting to the ecstatic chance of existence. Deep is the water and long is the moonlight inscribing addresses in quicksilver ink, building the staircase a lover forever pauses upon. Deep is the darkness and long is the night, solid the water and liquid the light. How strange that they arrive at all, nights on planet earth.
Sometimes, not often but repeatedly, the past invades my dreams in the form of a familiar neighborhood I can no longer locate, a warren of streets lined with dark cafés and unforgettable bars, a place where I can sing by heart every song on every jukebox, a city that feels the way the skin of an octopus looks pulse-changing from color to color, laminar and fluid and electric, a city of shadow-draped churches, of busses on dim avenues, or riverlights, or canyonlands, but always a city, and wonderful, and lost. Sometimes it resembles Amsterdam, students from the ballet school like fanciful gazelles shooting pool in pink tights and soft, shapeless sweaters, or Madrid at 4AM, arguing the 18th Brumaire with angry Marxists, or Manhattan when the snowfall crowns every trash-can king of its Bowery stoop, or Chicago, or Dublin, or some ideal city of the imagination, as in a movie you can neither remember entirely nor completely forget, barracuda-faced men drinking sake like yakuza in a Harukami novel, women sipping champagne or arrack, the rattle of beaded curtains in the back, the necklaces of Christmas lights reflected in raindrops on windows, the taste of peanuts and their shells crushed to powder underfoot, always real, always elusive, always a city, and wonderful, and lost. All night I wander alone, searching in vain for the irretrievable.
In the night I will drink from a cup of ashes and yellow paint. In the night I will gossip with the clouds and grow strong. In the night I will cross rooftops to watch the sea tremble in a dream. In the night I will assemble my army of golden carpenter ants. In the night I will walk the towpath among satellites and cosmic dust. In the night I will cry to the roots of potted plants in empty offices. In the night I will gather the feathers of pigeons in a honey jar. In the night I will become an infant before your flag.
Although you sit in a room that is gray, Except for the silver Of the straw-paper, And pick At your pale white gown; Or lift one of the green beads Of your necklace, To let it fall; Or gaze at your green fan Printed with the red branches of a red willow; Or, with one finger, Move the leaf in the bowl-- The leaf that has fallen from the branches of the forsythia Beside you... What is all this? I know how furiously your heart is beating.