“I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.”
— Jeremiah 5:22 (NIV)
this is not the angel of death we face who holds sway is but a spectre of fear we who prefer to huddle in flock or herd have been culled out, separated and this oh this is our emotional ruin
too long we have trusted in our safety so that now we fall easily into blind terrors our minds are unused to life saving tracks so we run, we gather, we hoard — our peril rests, resides in that to which we now turn not the Mystery, the Other; one who sees all
abase yourselves in your self-held knowledge run askance before the cryer’s clarion call fear, fear! panic and despair, children and fools! Who then is hope for?
I stalk through the aisles angry; people do not think — “Distance!” Stripped shelves, fear-bound humanity hoarding; rude herd creatures, ruminating in front of the dairy case — I cough my “excuse me.” Stampede. I am the grey wolf seeking a weakened elk in the herd. Laughing, I leave the grocery little better than I came; empty.
below middle C a steady rhythm steadies turns tunes my ache to saline drip not pushed half time quarter time barbed time week week week wreaked
now undone one steady beat birds flick from white key to black again peace
again the piece plays along synopses down along the chords tuned sharp too sharply it plays hammers dampened keyed back to perfect pitch rain drops on the grand beads on black lacquer caught in spotlight reality the hush rushes over the faceless crowd and I am left to drown under the unwritten notes.
Like every storm cloud before you, I am with clear silver backed; though my tongue, free of glint, glistens not with honey. I eye the silver sprouts among the brunette, thinning pate.
Wisely you spend less in converse with me. I am without guile, speaking plainly. What you see in me is truth.
What you carry away in your view, however, is a matter of your moment.
When you return at the end of labor, your glance my way may, may not edify.
What you see in me will accurately tell the damages of the day — but not relate a possible arc of improvement. Morning is always bleak for those who slumber but fitfully. Return to home seldom brings immediate return to health and glow.
“One scarlet flower is cast on the blanch-white stone.”
— Ezra Pound, Canto IV
The stain, the stain, a whispered — no, a creatured thought that crawled from the blanketed chambers.
Too easy to follow its rhythmic flow, ignore questions of source, of purity, of alloy, of intent; to trip the meanders, wave at others oxbowed, becalmed in static utterance — atonal life along a silent shore.
But what then?
Paddle, portage, prospect the driven stream of unconsciousness. Seek golden answers to unexamined life while the stain, the strain, the whispered petals remain.
Into the coracle I bundle my tormented night-sweated revelations, memorized mea-culpas of dreamed delirium, and row, row, row my fat arsed self across Acheron — the wind’s unsailable.
Waveless glass, though more like oil, the bastarded vessel, bent in the making — never true — slogs and dies, slogs anew.
What seafaring lay makes the task more a bliss? “I shall never this way travel again,” comes to mind. Is it?
Is it a veritable song, or more fevered my brain’s fantasy? It signifies not if… if the laborer throws unction under the tongue! The craft is heavy laden, and I am ready to drop them over into the swirling orb of the green deep.
* * *
One never knows what will come from gazing into the Pound Cantos.
…and the lines and the lines and the lines making squares making waves naked waves unmasked waves slippery when wet the rivers wet the streets wet the rain sifts the rain sifts the drain slips wet lines draining waves wet drains lining drains wet waves squares slipping slippery wet runs together straight lines together lines trees dripping waves breaching their frames echoed lines wave wetly drains repeated lines wetly wave rain squares wave as I drain — and the lines and the lines …ah, the lines