DETERMINED TO REMEMBER . Determined to remember, as an ocean swept over his pen he gathered his words together like pebbles on a beach. Siting there he started tapping them one against the other and in the splinters that sprang away he saw faces, wild tresses. He could not hold back the outbreak of cries and rushed into the water, with the sky for infinity. His memories turned the page into a whirlpool.
CROW FROWNS . Is he his own strength? What is its signature? Or is he a key, cold feeling To the fingers of prayer? . He is a prayer-wheel, his heart hums. His eating is the wind-- Its patient power of appeal. His footprints assail infinity . With signatures. We are here, we are here. He is the long waiting for something To use him for some everything Having so carefully made him . Of nothing.
MORNING . You know how it is waking from a dream certain you can fly and that some one, long gone, returned . and you are filled with longing for a brief moment, to drive off the road and feel nothing . or to see the loved one and feel everything. Perhaps one morning taking brush to hair you'll wonder . how much of your life you've spent at this task or signing your name or rising in fog in near darkness . to ready for work. Day begins with other people's needs first and your thoughts disperse like breath . in the in-between hour, the solitary hour, before day begins all the world gradually reappears car by car.
Learn to look past, to be the first to part. Tears, saliva, sperm are no solvents for solitude. On gilded wedding bowls, on prostitutes' plastic cups, an eye can see, if skilled, solitude's bitter residue.
TRACK . 2a.m.moonlight. The train has stopped out in a field. Far-off sparks of light from a town, flickering coldly on the horizon. . As when a man goes so deep into his dream he will never remember that he was there when he returns again to his room. . Or when a person goes so deep into a sickness that his days all become some flickering sparks, a swarm, feeble and cold on the horizon. . The train is entirely motionless. 2 o'clock: strong moonlight, few stars.
PIECES OF SHADOW . I don't know it for certain, but I imagine that a man and a woman fall in love one day, little by little they come to be alone, something in each heart tells them that they are alone, alone on the earth they enter each other, they go filling each other. . It all happens in silence. The way light happens in the eye. Love unites bodies. They go on filling each other with silence. . One day they wake up, over their arms. They think they know the whole thing. They see themselves naked and they know the whole thing. . (I'm not sure about this. I imagine it.)
ALTOS de CHAVON . Light crested as the leaves moved from green to green, like breathing. . From the roof:jungle, cane and sea moved from the rhythms of wind sickle and tide--various bodies. . None more naked than the pink, transparent lizards whose entire workings- gut, muscle and vein- were visible to the naked eye as they climbed the walls visible through them. . Evenings, music and the hard- working moon-so many chinks and spaces through which to make patterns. . Bodies moved together in patterns toward nakedness. . Beneath us the cats brawled, fucked, and cried like babies, cried so high and deep the music couldn't drown them out. . Now and then, a mango fell with a thud or a giant moth made shapes against the flames. . The elements were welcome. Not one thing did not hunger to be changed. the heat ran like a river between us all.
SHINTO . When sorrow lays us low for a second we are saved by humble windfalls by the mindfulness or memory: the taste of a fruit, the taste of water, the face given back to us by a dream, the first jasmine of November, the endless yearning of the compass, the book we thought was lost, the throb of a hexameter, the slight key that opens a house to us, the smell of a library, or of sandalwood, the former name of a street, the colors of a map, an unforeseen etymology, the smoothness of a filed fingernail, the date we were looking for, the twelve dark bell-strokes, tolling as we count of sudden physical pain. . Eight million Shinto deities travel secretly through the earth. Those modest gods touch us- touch us and move on.
BRETON'S LAST NIGHT . Diurnal night of spiritual bathing and Andean calabash where silence does no fit night of paralytic rain in the middle of space foreign night of cancerous light of tamale crumbs between nests of vultures tulle night on a paper vessel's course . Night of air's husk of nap of stars under the weeping of willows night shrouded by clouds in a rosary of bright rebel stars timid night of rosy dawn cheeks and of a doll broken by a mammoths blow. . Night of jelly on a pewter plate cardboard night between rats' teeth and of drowned men in the axis of the sea pointless Christmas night among the fumes of epileptic party-goers . Crucified night between a thief of dreams of foam and of truths.
THE BELLTOWER . The weighing is done in autumn and the sifting what is to be threshed is threshed in autumn what is to be gathered is taken . the wind does not die in autumn the moon shifts endlessly thru flying clouds in autumn the sea is high . & a golden light plays everywhere making it harder to go one's way all leavetaking is in autumn where there is leavetaking it is always autumn & the sun is a crystal ball on a golden stand & the wind cannot make the spruce scream loud enough.
DESIRE . I could say silver sky or blue moon but that is not my voice and if I drew a star it is only to drive away my shadow. Fortune teller of the night, decipher these waters: I am the lonely sea approaching your lonely shores. And today I would like to transform my voice into a sea of light for the thirst of your night; let my footsteps have the resonance of dawn when I look for your footprint and not the surrender of the sun's suicide at day's end. . Let my words be a rustle of wings and at the moment of writing the word love let a flock of birds appear to silence the noise of the bones of the air. And if it is because of my water's dance in the night of your body, let desire give us back the sweet and painful memory of paradise lost.
MARCH . The sun is hotter than the top ledge in a steam bath; The ravine, crazed, is rampaging below Spring -that corn-fed, husky milkmaid- Is busy at her chores with never a letup. . The snow is wasting (pernicious anemia- See those branching veinlets of impotent blue?) Yet in the cowbarn life is burbling, steaming, And the lines of pitchforks simply glow with health. . These days--these days and these nights also, With eavesdrop thrumming its tattoos at noon, With icicles (cachectic) hanging onto gables, And with the chattering of rills that never sleep! . All doors are flung open- in stable and cowbarn; Pigeons peck at oats fallen in the snow, And the culprit of all this and its life-begetter - The pile of manure- is pungent with ozone.
THE HOUR . Take me now, while it is early and I bear Dahlia buds in my hand. . Take me now while still my hair is dark. . Now while I have fragrant flesh and limpid eyes and rosy skin. . Now, while my nimble foot wears the living sandal of spring. . Now, while on my lip is laughter like a quickly shaken bell. . Afterwords...Oh! I know that I will have none of these later. . And your desire then will be useless like an offering placed in a tomb. . Take me now while it's still early and my hands full of tuberoses. . Today, no later. Before night falls and the flower's fresh center wilts. . Today, not tomorrow. Oh beloved can't you see that the vine will become a cypress tree.
THE ANSWER . A rose, in tatters on garden path, Cried out to God and murmured 'gainst His Wrath Because a sudden wind at twilight's hush Had snapped her stem alone of all the bush, And, God who hears both sun-dried dust and sun Had pity,whispering to that luckless one. "Sister in that thou sayest We did not well- What voices hear st thou when thy petals fell?" And the rose answered, "In that evil hour A voice said,'Father, where for falls the flower?' For lo, the very gossamers are still' And a voice answered, Son by Allah's will!" . Then softly as a rain-mist on the sward, Came the Rose and the Answer of the Lord. "Sister, before We smote the dark in twain, Ere yet the stars saw one another plain Time, Tide and Space, We bound unto the task That thou shouldst fall, and such a one should ask" Where at the withered flower, all content, Died as they die whose days are innocent While he questioned why the flower fell Got hold of God and saved his soul from hell.
HIROSHIMA . The man who dropped death on Hiroshima Rings bells in the cloister, has taken vows. The man who dropped death on Hiroshima Put his head in a noose and hanged himself. The man who dropped death on Hiroshima Is out of his mind, is battling with risen souls Made of atomic dust who are out to attack him. Every night. Hundreds and thousands of them. . None of it's true. In fact I saw him the other day In his front garden, there in the suburb-- With immature hedges and dainty roses. You need time to make a Forest OF Forgetting Where some one can hide. Plainly on view Was the naked, suburban house and the young wife Standing beside him in her floral dress And the little girl attached to her hand And the boy hoisted up on his back And cracking a whip over his head And he was easy to pick out On all fours there on the lawn, his face Contorted with laughter, because the photographer stood Behind the hedge, the seeing eye of the world.
A GIFT . A day so happy. Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden. Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers. There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess. I knew no one worth my envying him. Whatever I suffered, I forgot. To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me In my body I felt no pain. When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails
Demons scarcely distinguishable from gods play in the furrows of our souls like instrumentalists painfully but with panache. When they squeeze us we whine like dogs craving to get out to bark at the dark. Dog-like we'd love to bite them our tormentors only to find ourselves biting our own tongues.
SWALLOWS . Gripping wires like clothes pegs, small seagulls made of wood, agile and tiny against the brutal blue, bound to midday, one then another, moving clothes, arms, smiles, white breasts, black hoods, pointed wings aligned, minimal agitation, until they fly off but one - which takes wing then flits back, like a swift goodbye, breaking free of the morning. The wires stay put, the sky in intense abandone, like a Sunday village wedding, then its done.
in Danish town rivers are flowing who said there were none in my dreams danish town roars like a waterfall down o'er the edge of the world . each of my thoughts is a flash from a machine-gun tape every quiver of my body is a signal from a radio transmitter is someone out there . some marvellous amateur?
LIMESTONE . Barefoot at times at other times shod pearl without shell shell without pearl . Silent at times other times rowdy as if ready to take over the sky . Whether life appear and as suddenly dissolve like a stratagem . The light of limestone can outdo the sum of our celebrations . 2 . The majority of bones lying scattered in the earth are greatly in limestone's debt . Either for metamorphosis for the resurrection of metals or for the omnipresence of death.
ETERNAL CYPRESSES . Some day I will sleep forever without waking Never again will I see the cypresses of the northern plains . These cypresses at their mysterious prayers These black and dripping churches These swallows perched stiffly on the rushes These oil lamps . One day I shall sleep forever without waking While the wind blowing through the iron branches of the cypresses Will remain in the heart of a corpse.
TO A CAT . Mirrors are not more silent nor the creeping dawn more secretive; in the moonlight, you are that panther we catch sight of from afar. By the inexplicable workings of a divine law, we look for you in vain; more remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun, yours is the solitude, yours the secret. Your haunch allows the lingering caress of my hand. you have accepted, since the long forgotten past, the love of the distrustful hand. You belong to another time. You are lord of a place bounded by a dream.
AUTUMN . Autumn: the year breathes dully towards its death, beside its dying sacrificial fire; the dim world's middle-age of vain desire is strangely troubled, waiting for the breath that speaks the winter's welcome malison to fix it in the unremembering sleep: the silent woods brood o'er an anxious deep, and in the faded sorrow of the sun, I see my dead dreams' colours, one by one, forth-conjur'd from their smouldering palaces, fade slowly with the sigh of the passing year. They wander not nor wring their hands nor weep, discrown'd belated dreams! but in the drear and lingering world we sit among the trees and bow our heads as they, with frozen mouth, looking, in ashen reverie, towards the clear sad splendour of the winter of the far south.
CONTEMPLATION . Thou, o my grief, be wise and tranquil still, The eve is thine which even now drops down, To carry peace or care to human will, And in a misty vale enfolds the town. . While the vile mortals of the multitude, By pleasure, cruel tormentor, goaded on, Gather remorseful blossoms in light mood-- Grief, place thy hand in mine, let us be gone. . Far from them. Lo see the vanished years, In robes outworn lean over heaven's rim; And from the water, smiling through her tears, . Remorse arises, and the sun grows dim; And in the east, her long shroud trailing light, List, o my grief, the gentle steps of night.
AND MAYBE ALL WAS WRITTRN . And maybe all was written in the book and the book got lost . or someone threw it in the brambles without reading it . no matter, that which was written abides, even . hidden, another who has not lived through all that . and without knowing the book's language will understand each word . and when ha has read it something of ours will yield . a breath, a kind of smile between the stones
Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola . TO SLEEP . Frightful representation of death, Cruel sleep, my heart no longer agitate, By showing me the tight knot has been cut, Sole consolation for my adverse fate. . Seek out the ramparts of some tyrant strong, His walls of jasper, ceiling made of gold; Or seek the miser rich in his poor bed, And wake him up sweating, trembling, cold . Then let the first see how the angry mob Breaks down with wrath his iron covered gates, Or see the hidden blade of lackey bought; . And let the second see his wealth exposed By stolen key or furious assault: And let love keep the glories he has wrought.
THE BASKET OF WOOL . Desiring yet unable, I dreamt myself in this room and I dreamt myself being able, making a basket of wool toll to keep myself sleeping and wanting them to come not come and to make not make a basket of wool toll like a bell promoting a sadness without desire eliciting A Japanese music that makes me weep wondering but not hearing summoning an unsommanable scene that pure luck renders somnable. as when one says now that this lady summons speaking and that gentleman speaks summoning as when one says: "Come here, little parrot; let's make this basket of yarn toll like a bell" leaving everyone happy with this Japanese music that makes me weep, in summoning, and which goes on eliciting and tolling and goes on playing through the night.
AN ANGEL CONTEMPLATES HIMSELF . There is in men an insatiable craving after heights. They close their eyes and conjure further delights, an earth less parched. But, in their splendid innocence, they know nothing. . The sky is eternally blue, and we are beautiful. But who in this place would declare I love, I own, The fruit is ripe, it is today's? In this place we are all forever on the side of desire. . Wings to fly to where? We belong to nobody, nobody is expecting us, like an ornament we display. The half-smile of another death.