Wretched, A Poem in 10 Movements


1. failli (giving away)

In this wretchedness, source of metal’s heat it’s easy to see nothing. These councils of self to self where the dust blows on radical concepts of nothing. Being for others….following baseball scores. The two ideals life spilt: grace and self-preservation. Bad faith, strange forests where birds and leaves are not discernable. What is conversion? Being source and heat’s radical nothingness, a total escapist solution to what one sees and cannot believe in. A machine exercises alone, pointlessly, condemned to believe in its own exercise. The ribs, the scapula, are flexible, not as rigid as a metal frozen in its plate design. Some organs interpret, others react. The machine could be playing baseball or writing a dissertation on radical nothingness.

Battles for mechanical design. The Germans and the French made cars together. The Serb and the Albanian sing songs of harvest. Streets where bombs fell. Streets where bombs did not fall. The Jew and the Muslim slept on Saturday, slept on Sunday, walked into the market square and paid the same taxes.

The least bit of things fall at the first sense of living, where we remember ourselves more than instinct. You’ll swallow wretchedness, but not the same ennui, that phantom which slid over the clear image of sky and valley and creek and plain, escaping the purple dust which sifts to the bottom of the sky, laying red caparisons on the trees, the deer, the cars, the homes, the schools below. No torch. No ennui into the turbines, jet contrails against a purple swath cutting below the blue-

black ceiling. The animal releases itself from itself, pulls back and spins into the great shift, being a like history, somewhere into that radical nothingness where creatures, machines, minerals breathe the same breath.

The world. At frenetic perspectives the catalyst to motion becomes the need to discern oneself from the soil, the loose rocks and pebbles along the side of the street. Parking lots. Scraps of food. Tempers behind the wheel of a car. All release. Say nothing. The great spirit of thing exhales. The great spirit of being exhales. Their breaths mingle and become a purple strip of light below a blue-black block.

The racecar loses control and is broken in half. Fiery jets of light spill out of its open parts as it slides across the racetrack. The clouds do not miss this. They crash above, their plumes of smoke and flame leak out. The open air, touched with living energy, unfolds them as bright orange, yellow, red, and clouds of black curling out where the end of action filled the sky with its wretchedness, all sound and fury, all a busy stasis, the radio dial on the busy, empty station of static where the universe boomed for the first time.

And the soil tends to grind. And the wings tend to fail at zenith point. And the ghosts tend to leak into unused buildings. And the pebbles tend to not be noticed unless we fall and hit the ground. And the wars tend to be forgotten as we forget the pain of breaking an arm or having a tooth pulled without Novocain. And the farmers tend to develop conspiracies about cities. And the universe booms nothing.

All this safe writing about patterns.

And the sulfur bled a purplish pallor over the blue-black mindscape. And the musicians made water out of wine. And the wine made musicians of farmers and carpenters. And on the seventh day God stood up and cried “It is nothing, nothing which washes my eyes, my heart with the din beneath my feet”. All these safe patterns about writing. What is historical? The genetic transmission of dexterity? Four generations of racecar drivers. Seven generations of singers. Five generations of baseball players. A rock filled with fissures becomes more porous even as it becomes more brittle.

Thus a city grows from sun-baked brick, city of Catal Huyuk, city of Mari, walls and inner courtyards, citadels and temple complexes. Pass knowledge. The border towns monthly raided. In those times, up to the nineteenth century, a civilized fringe in a forest of bandits. We are they. The stoplights and the sweeping central avenues. In Rome, the heavy trucks were traveling at night to keep the streets cleared for pedestrians. Upper terrace: too high for irrigation. Lower City: The Thebans kept the fellahs in simple clay hovels. A single empire. Placed between copper mines and timberland along a good trade route. Sift and sing of us: Mari, Elamite, Harappa, and Jericho. The force of the furnace that wrought each intricate copy of god and goddess.

Elam is fine. The fish sleep in our estuaries. Games. Honey for the merchants, Honey for the fellah. Degrees of quality. A rock side is heated with flame and suddenly cooled with water so that fissures form. The miners drive wedges of wood into the fissures so that they might enter deeper and deeper into the mountain, smoking the ores out of their inert presence and into the sun, which rises over the walled town at the foot of the mountain. Take a crucible, a hand-made bellows leaving slag behind, piled up, the Etruscan slag fields covering Veii and Tarquinium. The raiders of the north with their iron swords, hard black against malleable bronze. The bandits took knowledge to the civilized.

Imagine, then, the sun slipping into itself. What heat does not escape that reaches us? The soul is filled with magnetic waves and plumes of burning hydrogen. The soul is filled with magma and slag and the oxygen-rich fuel from the hand-pressed bellows. The art of smelting. Making a fist and it is a blunt weapon. Making a standard and it is the secret history of Ur, secret history of the mound builders, secret history of the New York Yankees from 1920 to 1959. The great drama, when in a state of ennui the king would hunt lions, the dockyard worker would shoot craps, the fellah would make a fist, kiss a girl (drive his children to make a fist, kiss a girl), drive their children to accept the corvee as unchangeable. The satellite, when it first entered space, became the grand experiment in radical nothing, potential emitter of our earth’s historical ennui, that from such humble wretchedness an object with components wrought from gold, components wrought from ceramic, copper, silicon would loll across the heavens (earth’s heavens) in that eternal circular pattern, predictable flow of magnetic waves , making the stars reflect baseball

games and traffic lights.

The miracle occurs where the stars split up, implode, and a pebble-sized imploded neutron star could fall through the earth and shatter us to bits. Hunters on the plains. To sing in the blue-black expanse, to stretch one’s painted arms out beneath the purple flash of a storm, to sway to the frenetic beat of fires crackling round you suggesting drums, suggesting cymbals, suggesting dance.

The air that night was heavy with water. The trail home was glazed with a soil surrendered to a sea-like state, brown rivulets leading into the wretched forest where the guide of this night disappeared behind the overlapping branches, moonless meandering towards home. Survivors. Human wrecks. “The magnets of the soul.”

The spirit cannot escape patterns. Magnetic waves gather in the frenzy of a good game, a good match. To capture ennui, to burn cells to life in radical nothing. To burn. To implode. To start fires for the sheer delight of color. In Anatolia there were two separate groups who took their turn educating Egypt, the Hyksos and the Hittites. It was first the Hittites who brought black gold, precious iron to the land of the Nile. It was first the Hyksos who brought strange cattle called the horse to the land of the Nile. A frenetic sweep of action accidentally transmits knowledge in a vacuous expanse where blue-

black stallions race beneath the purple clouds just after heavy rains and inundation fed the tiny strip of empire fresh nitrates to bring the seed to its human fruition.

Just as the satellite which belongs to us all, the Russian and the Jew, the Serb and the Albanian, the Beaker cultures, the Ubaid, the Celts, the Umbrians, the Villanovans, the Phoenicians, the Germans and the French, the Spanish and the Moors. The satellite became an archetype of thought becomes those complex patterns spun from simple theory, that to start fires, to race a team of horses, to swing a bat is to remain outside

the stasis which is at the core of everything.

From empty birth a miracle of stars and planets boomed into color fields and black vistas surrounded by radical nothing. Sitting on an empty plain, far from rivers but near prey and timber, you could see how a nomadic group could form, taking to following prey into this or that valley, stopping by cool streams to slack off the tension of dust. A less frenetic course filled with inventions of fomented milk, which gave the mind an action from such ennui, hot swathes of blood inventing action in the veins, action in the soul’s structural support… Whereby a good brother could kill another good brother, a good wife could take up with a good stranger, etc. Humans being visceral exchange, instinct to take the heat out of the soul and thrust it into the cold, radical nothing which explodes above/below physical limitations.

Dragons, then, come out of the mud’s brine. Angels break off from the snow-capped mountains. Giants tear out their own selves from the empty thunder on a black, shiftless night. Rigid patterns accidentally fill the soul with design. A corporation ‘buys’ a forest and has it made into desks, papers, and corporate offices and 401k’s and lawyers and political contributions and satellite research and the purchase of baseball teams. The empty plain becomes a parking lot. The black tar is fissured by the struggling vine

below its wretchedness.

A forest will be replaced. The ivy grows to the highest point available. Ennui is thus replaced by such a zenith.

In the air small drops of life emerge in space to colonize the black, empty plains between stars and planets. The atmosphere is colored with this goo, which shifts from star to planet to moon to planet to star. The air cools under its heat-

absorbing light. The wind builds up from the force of its presence on the perceived ceiling of things. A ship which we become, which felt itself cutting through the waves and remained unmoved by the sloshing motion of its own inertia felt it were a

thing let loose by hand’s design to serve its own

inertia only (not the service for the hand which

did design it so).

A captain feeds on air from his high perch,

oblivious to those who work the crucible beneath the decks, power the bellows that force the flame to release steam, this steam that does its job converting complex patterns into inertia. This heavy ship, covering the seas with its shadow,

being for the deep-sea drifters a monolithic shout releasing detritus which feeds and poisons those who come to covet it, cutting a swathe of purple froth across the blue-black distance of the surface of the sea where deep-sea drifters are oblivious to stars and planets and moons.

The rest of the world sleeps in this oblivion,

between shifts of work, looking at their feet as

they walk:

“As you will see total oblivion,

“As you will see stars sifted to empty light,

“As you will see cannons burst apart the ground,

“As you will walk above/below nature,

“As you will see the force of nature and believe

yourself transposed by it to higher degrees of life,

“and self-preservation,

“As you become the surface of nature itself…..

Tension, wireless beats through the air transmitting volumes of life and life’s rolling accounts, the stone torn from its earthed moorings being a satellite cruising the empty parks of space, or sweet aphasia, dark circles around the aureoles of the sun where the natural impulse dissolves in distant heroics:

“As you see the planet and its superstars,

“As you see ships glowing below the murky brine,

as you see the winter’s fog slip over the lush fields of aqua-marine, cutting a sharp blade of gray across a distant purple mountain range, top-heavy with blue-black sky grist.

2. en travesti (in disguise)

The world resists.

Poets linger on.

How? Out of the tongue?

How? Out of the cannon?

How? Out of the ship’s


The sun.

We are inured to it.

The blades

Of grass do well to stick with it.

How does one sit in a




Behaved as if it were

a mortal cell

ready for grace

and self-


the liquid light


on the empty scene

where tens of faces


they are alone in all

this human stuff

peaking through a heavy fog into an empty

pasture where life filled

empty space with clumps

of blue-black

foliage and swathes

of purple light.


The egg



take up



with all the rest of the world,







built from ennui’s taxing demand on drawing lazy


of breath

with Socrates sprawled out dead and purple in a

blue-black shroud, what

connected him

with all the rest…..

With the world’s rest

of it all?

Through strands of DNA.

The action comes to be the end of thought,

the beginning of ennui’s drawing breath.


Which drew substance out of radical


which made

a cloud burst as you fell sleepy

from its loss,

the rest, which is the test of the world

to sleep

and be alive

the next day

as E.A. Poe

would say

‘These little slices of death”, the over-


ennui in the poet’s


as if a cannon had been fixed in a void

and a whole


spilled out of the

radio-dial, static ennui where nature was built

and deconstructed

itself from


we humans constructed.

The superficial predictability of history,

when the first

helve was


to its head

of stone and


as a hammer or an axe, etc.

Out of the grave

mistake of things

we learn the art of burning, without which


would travel alone on her barque, racing ahead of Enki, who let loose a deluge of minor gods to get back the art of burning, art of lying, art of making clay, art of making brick, art of self-control, art of painting the face on, art of gambling, etc.

From the goddess of the people who gave the range of things to be within potential chaos below the surface of things calm and accepting with worlds and stars becoming and unbecoming around them. “There is no star:

This is not a star. Stars are made from white construction paper. Cut out a circle or a diamond or, if you will, a star, pentatonic, Star of David, quadratic, star of the U.S.A., star of the three golden spikes and glue it onto black construction paper. Repeat as desired.”

The universe. The benign shift of light to matter, energy to past events, the letting go of that prick of light which made a moment and made a moment flicker past the scales, unmeasured, Thoth, with his feather, untested. “There is no star: Pick the color of a baseball field. Some fields are dark, lush green, with red-clay brown infields. Some fields are light green, the green of a dying blade of grass underneath an arid sky, with dust-

white brown infields. Many fields vary in between the strange extremes. The baseball field is called a diamond. The diamond shape has long been used in various parts of the world to represent star, eye, egg, power.”

Ash and ash and ash and star. The radical nothing which builds moments of drama over

blades of grass, while real values crush and crush the blue-green vistas resting at the foot of the purple-black mountain hovering in the clouds

where stars do not reach the light of the eye. But do stars reach?

The oil reaches the pan, a spark is touching off its potential energy. This could be the light of heaven, a pearl-gray drop of viscous residue. Onto the plain/plate/place where we’ve looked up, demigods in our round huts, waving at the cool distance above our heads. One can almost hear the grass twitch for light in the cool, crepuscular descent.

One can hear the stentorian breakers as they hiss off the side of a ship’s glistening bow. The air, it is all the right shifts of kinetic potential thrown upon the blades of grass, tossed onto the ship’s deserted deck as she slowly lists. The dawn, which is only the earth’s about face, is not rose-fingered or coffee-stained but is the passing of light on a dark universe, the shift, wherein we ask ourselves why we were fortunate enough to have the moon and the sun on such ideal shifts of revolution.

What if the moon followed the sun daily? The long, long night, the electronic eyes, the blind inference of shape and form. The awakening would be itself the birth of things. Whether it is this time or that time would bear no relevance here. The stars reach through though, and we learn to set our watches by them alone. When the space of light and time return in the word of a flame, do we not judge ourselves unfit for life’s ennui, always passing in exciting danger, perpetual locking of doors and constant night baseball, night racing, etc.?

But do stars burn? It is this afterlife we reach for, to be a name on a chart to loosen

one’s events

in the filaments

of distant space unreached.

We take out of the world iron and

aluminum and titanium and


and give it back merely an em-

embellished light show.

The subtle sky undoes itself in such ennui. We stretch across a new planet with our big legs and feet and yawn even as we first discover other worlds to breathe upon.

3. promenade (walk)

This is a wide-angled shot: Three frigates are lolling lazily outside the window on the Space Port. Three ships are scanning the Atlantic for survivors. Three separate deities compose the one true designer of stars and satellites and potential sci-fi narration. The world is not made by us, nor us by it. We are, in the end, two separate, unknowable entities.

Sadness, which is a gift to balance out the light’s euphoria after a dark, dark purple-black night crushes the blue-black space at our feet, around our hands, dancing halos around our lens-shut eyes. The umpire yells ‘play ball’ for one lone soul stretching out, heavy with the natural fall of light and sea, absorbed with that ennui which weather imposes on action’s plans. The game pushes on.

Thus proof!

This is a baseball game, which is played for the sake of playing things out. Owners, revenue, fans, etc, become actual fringes of the dying gesture, to play out the last remaining innings in the name of playing out all things which are started, listening, then, inadvertently to the click and the tick of the machine going through the set of action’s plans a hand did start with the turn of a wheel or a key.

Thus motion,

Or a fiery state

Where love made itself from that heavy load

of frost which


the grass down with white


To escape

The frills of blue-green skirts sliding across the

bone-white fields

shards of broken pots

and beads and arrow-

heads almost raised

to the surface, cupped

up in a shovel-full of

dirt and sifted out,

laid bare above the frost the detritus of long gone

tribes which made their trails

where the fields cross over

the broken

plains, up to the banks

of a shriveling creek where trout and bass and

horny chubs and fallfish and sunfish

and crayfish and salamanders

fight for the light of the water, life of the mud,

the motion stilled.

The earth in its song

Its own refrain

That the light would break over the banks of a stream, that the light would bore onto empty panes of glass, that the light would still a moving image, that the light would sheer off the purple- black distance from its present view (such as an old water-mill overgrown with moss and ivy, or an empty dirt road filled with a resting band of locusts, or, leading into the city, a siren indiscriminate), that light would form an atmosphere below the dark self of being, that the light would not blend into dark but be in opposite an unknown thing to all but those who step out from the same aural space, that the light would split in reds and blues across the playing fields to make the ordinary game shimmer in a surface of hyper action crushing the radical nothing which lay between bases ( between the fan in the stands and the player on the field).

The earth in its song

Its own refrain.

That shade should be called a cloak, a shroud, a


That shade should be a light

Compared to this ennui,


letting go

of earth and


the poet


and tries out




of vowels and


racing to their



No speech.

No star.

No earth.

No light.

We sleep alone. The ghosts meander through

empty plate glass windows and are amazed at this

ennui we wrap in the light and action, trying to

escape the radical nothing

Which light hides below, where shade cloaks


That love,

that awful


stars held out the night’s pan to catch the oils of

the living plain below the radical nothing, or

a parade, a man

who sits in the bleachers

and is immersed in the aroma

of hotdogs and french fries

and the girls of the color guard

wrapping flags and silk ribbons

in the air but still is not dis-

connected from the grist which is potentially


beneath the glaze of order, cooperation, patterns

of irreversible social ennui expressed in the bad

singing of the national anthem before the players

enter the field.

What is entering?

The oil-

streaked sky


with that powder-blue vacuity unnoticed

by the fans

fixing their gazes on the brightly colored life


What is known?

If the earth spills

out of its sphere

The small creatures belong to the deep gullets

of the large

earth-shakers stuck

in the brine

in the mud

in the calcium

the tar

inside the earth’s undone.

The earth’s one song

where race car

drivers become



football players

become helmets

on brightly colored


left, intertwined .

But we do not try to breathe,

Just breathe. For this,

It where a child. This was a child I knew.

‘The ineffable vicissitudes of life to occur.

I could not let you know.

The earth was a musty handful.

The brine was cool, evanescence in a pool where legs roiled things up. The child, a pose of action’s plan, always the creation of human mechanics. To this end a child is experimenting with a physical ennui that shades the bright nirvana of pure sense without meaning.

……which is the wet boughs hanging lower and lower to touch earth-sense, not in the path of jet trails but bearing down on the throttle, unreachable, the glorious untesting of one’s resources burning across the purple, endless skies. What you cannot know….

What I cannot tell you….

Which is where thought burns as real

as a petal or

as real as clouds,




over unobtainable atmospheres where

this engine


benign sense or


malevolent woe

in a matrix of humming metal on metal


the super-empty existence

a machine


with its heavy, busy effort of making a drum

a rod

or cone

a series

of unknowable designs

where life drifted into this ennui, displaced

with the load

of an ocean’s


net of forms.

I did not know the sea.

I swam as though immune to its mass.

I told myself to let go.

Even as the race

car driver

dips into a draft,

even as a pitcher

falls into the stretch,

even as a carpenter

strikes a line plumb

particles of life let go and radical nothingness

explodes in chance


the unbridgeable

synapse between mind and universe,

the solipsistic grasp

of a car wheel to

hold onto the draft.

I told myself ‘let go’

I told myself

‘go, let go’

I told the cells

‘let’s go’

know the space between a curveball and a slider,

a change-up and

a knuckle ball….

The potential existence of self propelled

through a sphere of twine

and rawhide

hurtling into the past

and out the other


to ennui’s fleeting presence.

Thus light.

4. barre (railing)

Thus, to know:

light or chaos













ships, which list

ships, which die



and letting go




hooves clopping in the dusty, beaten road.

It is a great laugh.

Gods and men. And women and goddesses


in the blue flick of a match about

to catch it’s flame. Thus, light.

Thus the particles

are not alone.

(for when I speak….)

For when I speak of the pineal


as the

governor of body and soul

what do I invent?

……of something omniscient


human action.

For when I speak does not my voice escape this ennui of physicality? An apple is halved and cannot bring itself to term again.

Stoned satellites roil the atmosphere with useless glitter. The air, which is perception alone, conceals the detritus in blue-black dust below a purple swathe of perception’s empty space. This is the crush of light in such a small sense. This world is not an action but a perceived form of

color and wind and shadow and mud and water and natural din and factitious din. Its corners of the eye filled with false ghosts rising from the empty seas. Its ennui released in the great stretch of a pitcher’s attempt at a strike.

Where are you, small ones,

concealed in the earth’s

busy grottos covering

in the dust

of every day?

Where are you, small ones, rouged by the blast of

the perpetual breeze, bruised

by the daily connections

of life to physicality?

Where are the small ones?

Even the smallest of us

sleeps on a large bed of myth,


cruising in our small


Satellites decide to separate from factitious antennas, the blue-black plain where words are separated from us by ‘writ large’ sentiments, such as eternity, or less dramatic……………finite end. So what is it, the end? So what is it then? The foul air? Where angels dissolve between ziggurats and henges, half of this light struggling to reach the world’s textured surfaces, the other

half piercing a dark culvert in a shaft of light essence, near fatal application of heat to dark spots, cold spots enveloped in the mysteries of the initiated, the pacification of earth-sense confronted with outward reaching? So when a Mother sends her sons off to war she

internalizes the three possibilities: how life was writ large upon the playing fields, how life disbursed its hydra-headed self into the loam and lost its own inertia in the black tunnels below spark and boom, or how life tore itself but yet remained inside its vessel stilled by such ennui that shattered bone and psyche.

So are we hopeless?

Radical nothing.

Hope, which is

the light drizzle

on lush blue-green

fields, covered

with life signs such as

the crickets grinding their

legs together, the moths

beating their powdery

selves into the air, a fox

burst forth from a fen

into a shrew’s demesne,

teleological inference of

prey and predators, leafy

burst of seed and


This is the method of loss. As leaves break from the branch and gather browns and reds and yellows and oranges into their thin carapaces (this is the final explosion of life). The ground is caparisoned in such a fulmination of color. But do we leave the world display its detritus to us? Instead we capture colors in our rakes and form mounds of browns and reds and yellows and oranges and later set them to flame, return them to ash that fills the empty lots with grays and blacks and whites as we prepare the psyche for the dead spot in time where ice fell on the fields and first crusted up the seas.

The earth was timid to us. Even as arctic winds broke the surface of the skin with burst vessels of blood, adding a pulpy red to hand or face we supposed ourselves above the fray, concealed in

brick and mortar and concrete and steel where the eye did not see the vast rolling plain

concealed in earth weather; but alone it feasted on factitious corners and clean lines rising from the jagged earth-sense where snow bore itself upon the air and settled on living and dead, object and design. Only when the power lines are snapped, or wind could force a break in our factitious hovels do we recognize the dearth of powers we have at our disposal in the face of physicality alone. True faith attempts to burn away the fragile hoar, which we are found enmeshed upon. Living. The earth slept. The sky lay awake.


stars stirred between the living and the dead.


blended out, become

the sense enveloped by

ennui, become the surface

of physicality.



into the radical

nothing, become the shape

of empty space, blazed

into the cold snow (but still

a hard opal kernel every

once in awhile beating

ember crimson).

living pulse

and flame, the tension pulled around

the empty shapes.

dead the

drum’s empty chamber, dead-

wherein the sound re-

verberates, making an ill-

usion of life and its ennui,

entering physicality.

The living and the dead step off, step off and disappear behind a curtain of distant stars to re-

emerge, form in form, coloring the night sky with that red pallor sailors came to call calm seas by day.

The miracle occurs:


Or to live….

All of the purple petals of light descend upon a blue-black frame of the eye where forms come into essence, reality, rationality.

We slip away. We turn ourselves into musical build-ups; the long, drawn-out violin reminds us we are nearing crisis, denouement, dramatic ennui.

This is the spirit, or what we know of it, slithering between the physically mundane and ghostly distance of the ideal, never the twains shall meet.

Certainly the pineal gland is rather busy generating chemical emotions, necessities. Perhaps Descartes was right. Chemical regulation brings that connection to the top of the senses.

We are, then, what our body says is so.

The mountain is no thing if it is not perceived.

We forget death and we are immortal.

The stars are empty shells if we believe them so.

The rational is a ghost of chemical composition.

The real is the quest for ennui, being ready to


into action, anticipating action’s sense where


is outside the simple flux and is a permanent

perpetuation of chemical lucidity.

We are, then, what our body says is so.

If the Phillies lose the pennant does not my body take this as a personal affront, that self could thus identify with colors and symbols on a playing field, and yet be powerless to bring them victory? We are, then, what our body says is so. The mountain is empty, yet we still work hard to crawl around, to crawl over it. We warm bodies, we segmented things….Our hands, our hearts become the flames of our internal furnaces stoked up with chemicals.

We are, then, what our body says is so.

The world is thus

in patterns pressed

on things we cannot know.

This is the back

of the mind


superstition as

a panacea,

poultice on the bruise

life encounters in its


cold physicality.

Or, think of the race in its mid-stage ennui

when cars are spaced

out un-


be a crash,

a ball of flame

to knot them up again

and give the scene

a break from that ennui

where drivers struggle merely

with themselves to keep

their cars out

of the wall.

A miracle!

The plane of light

becomes a numbers

game again.


Shadows form and become solid essence.


is quietness interpreted as inaction?


shadows become flames, become puffs of smoke,


an atmosphere, horizon,

sea-surf or

the ship’s black

underside exposed at last

to the open air

as the ship rolled into new moorings beneath

fantastic metaphysics or

our human understanding

of such things.


shadows deliberately manipulate the light.


Does the world give up so easily its physicality?


shadows hide the rational, the real, beneath



and cultural ennui.

The ship rests on its stygian deck below the


all hands lost.

A miracle? The settling of life. The width of the ship halved by its implosive state. To bring self into its own domain, to occupy its own vague inner space with outer sense and meaning. Dawn arrives. Just overhead, but here, below the stuff, which made the air refine the sense with that ennui, the sun does not touch the curved earth or heat the cold molecules. So day and day and night and night do disappear until the sleep and wake, sleep and wake govern this new chronology of stasis below action’s heated air.

At that shore, stentorian surf deafens the calm ebb and pulse of life. Small tracks, carapaces of the dead, or squid detritus take up this swathe of sand turned purple by the blue-black distance of space overcoming the dawn’s red foment.

Footsteps trundle along while just offshore a ship brings life to coral and manta ray, to marlin, starfish, crab, and octopus. Dead calm above, save for the rhythmic slip of noise from in that envelop of foam meeting the edge of a large physicality.

A miracle? Dawn always occurs where a planet, on its own axis making patterns of circularity, revolves around a simple star. Dusk, night, high noon, all in their subjective units of time, occur across the universe. The sun is not alone. We call it a chariot, a barque, the finger of God, etc. We call it shadow-eater. We cover it with gold. Some ship which knew it as a beacon now cannot conceptualize that such a thing could roll along, burning the dark and cold away. It is true, here in the atmosphere, the near-flame of that purple, distant puff above the radical nothing.

5. pas de chevel (step of the horse)

Love comes and goes.

Men and women sit together. Men and women

hold hands. Men and women are kissing. The

sun drifts in and out of conversation. Men and

women get drunk together. Men and women


Out of the surf a mess of seaweed and coral forms

the ideal love, Botticelli’s girl in a shell resting on

a deserted beach. If there is beauty where no

thought could find it so, then is it beauty?

We clear our lives with amnesiatic drifts, forget

the child we struck, the mistress we misled to

fuck. My love for you. To be in the same room,

drinking and secretly wishing to fuck.

If it is true then let it be so. We care so much for

one another. Our eyes meet and we are

chattering wildly in silence, believing we

understand one another. There, near enough, the

human heat believes itself reflected in the mirage

of that rippling mirror in the distance where our

eyes meet.

Is this love? I take the color of dawn and make of

it your eyes. I take the natural notes of a

cockatoo, a robin, an owl, and make of it your

own soft melisma when you breathe, when you

say my name. Is this love? I love you as I love

what the senses provide.

My fingertips, do they not discern your heat from all the other bodies that they’ve brushed up against? Small fish tear at the leavings we jettison over the side of our small craft, so no evidence remains of the mess we made of our physical occurrences; a fingernail, a handkerchief, a bit of bread, a lock of hair, all become the fuel of what lies beneath the lake’s dawn-reflecting surface where our eyes met and our lips became the craft we sail upon, hand in hand, not daring to ever glance again so deeply in each others’ eyes, satisfied with thoughts that habit has made true.

So say it now that love is true. I truly see that I love you. I dream of you. I whisper your name every minute of every hour. I am become the love for you. I shift in time. It is your clock I follow. I burst forth in a bloom of life. It is the earth of you, the fuel of you that brings these jewels to light. So say it now that love is true. If I bleed I do not know it. If I have set myself on fire I am oblivious to the pain. If I do not eat I am not feeling the stomach bitterly collapse. If I do not see I am, nonetheless, all of the potential colors known to the eye.

Without which life? I am making myself rise

above the dusty earth. I am become the stars

themselves, for love invents the myths that make me feel I am a warlock, casting bolts of lightning, summoning hurricanes, tornadoes and monsoons. If I am a small man I am infinite in my love for you. Here you become the microscope, which brings myself to view within the naked sheen of the eye’s potential sheen of perception (your eye, my eye, the eye that watches the sun, the moon for myths). Is this not love? In love I am no more the dull shape in mere flat physicality.

Words, ideas, images become as one with a desk, a doorknob, my worn-down shoes. So say it now that love is true, for otherwise no soul exists beyond this physicality.

A pulse between ennui. If I say ‘love’ is there a picture in your thoughts of it? An image decides to disintegrate between my lips and your rendering. Words are scanning the mind’s skies for recognizable forms. In love. A patina darkened beneath a veil of what this love infers. For you, walking through crowds, oblivious to human ennui crushing against physicality, threatening action in a dull, halcyon mall.

Pictures form. Love’s word is misused. The satellites discern from darkness’ broad maw light implied within their precious parts, jewels crafted from hands into love where sky is but a blue floor strafed with dusty white filigree of life and life’s vapors shifting in physicality. Love.

We interpret ourselves. The heart is a pulpy lump. In its physicality we say thought can sing, or to be heart-felt. To know the brutal work the heart must thus endure and yet command the sense of self becoming larger than itself through what can only be defined as a physical engine pushing life through the caves and grottos of the self forgotten in the heady rush of endorphins one finds in the singing of love.

The funambulist could find the same result up high upon the wire. Thus we are defined by what the glands inject into our physicality. So love could be in physicality now based. You become then something of a substance I can only infer your life upon. The radical nothing becomes in life again.

In substance. In pain. In sound. In pressing

through. In turmoil. In dust. In the drafty tomb.

In song. In threnody. In Situ. Inorganic. In this

crucible. In time. In memory of living. In

memory of death. In the organ. In the church

tower. In the mouths of children. In the hands

of a mob.

In the small set of laws a language is thus

governed. In the inference of meaning through

nods, gestures, and tones. In the ineluctable. In

the redundant. In the passive. In the benign

flagging of words. In the

shopping malls. In the ballparks. In the hospital

wards. In orchestra pits (what a language


In everything a burst of raw potentiality implies its negative capability of radical nothing. Still, nothing is not a void, for nothing yet implies a something which once was, starring into that vacuity to comprehend potential stasis in a room of color and light and drama. In the small crack of a gun, in the forests, in the ship’s ballast, in the crossing of a desert, in the dead seas of the moon. A radical nothing holds out the potentiality of things to be by not being or becoming stasis in a structure of purpose and action. In a war , such as wars are, all things are forgotten, but yet the sense remains, thus amplified, for sense takes up the void now left

behind by life’s potentiality now frozen in the

stasis of a war.

For lo, behold the air in there, below the sea,

bejeweled with life’s periphery of shapes and,

here, potentialities. We are on our own great

ships, crushing the surface of the seas. The white

foment blends the blue-black presence into the

clean lines of the ship.

For lo, the scattering of voices, how the sea and the ship miss their vowels and consonants to one another and thus do not perceive the other’s existence. Instead they just imply to one another a form, the ship through the foam-white skirt, which follows it, the sea through that wedge-

shaped dark which slides across its vast experience. We in our little boats. Distance is the necessity of time and perception, thus we invent it.

Our little selves a load unto itself, burden of the being that we come to think we are…..a bit of oil, a pile of dirty plates, a half-eaten potato, things….and things and things and things. The self becomes. The soul-less vision of logic overcoming this epiphany of self to thing. We ring out the bells with our false sense of measuring and reconstructing vicissitudes of wind, etcetera into our epoch ending patterns

culled from planetary rolls in chance we found our forms enmeshed within. Thus time ends. Time takes its toll, etc. The bells ring in the new millennium. Oh sad display, for we will blossom chemicals into the sky, bring light into its looming, variegated possibility. The record of the century, millennium. We cover up the night veneer with dawn’s display of flames. The world will crush its old self into that compressed minute, will step off its old self in that slip of time where crowds will move the planet into the new millennium.

And suicides, and genocides, and getting drunk, and banging pots, and disappearing into life’s new measure of time (forgetting the things and symbols which gave this moment its significance). Why struggle on? Events conspire to drown you in their deep significance. You’ll sleep on, even if the power goes out. You’ll find sleep. The insects continue to grind their legs, their mandibles. The leafless trees do not spontaneously combust but rock to and fro in the innocent breeze.

You’ll suffer the same as before. You’ll laugh at the same jokes. I observe. I am a sentient thing now overcome with thing-like essence, here become the symbol of the end of time, and to start time up again, the great planetary sneeze where the heart stops for a stretch of unnoticeable time. As the hour comes and goes we’ll quickly inure ourselves to this new measure of things, complain of headaches, rejoice when our team wins the game. For does not the heart bang out its measure in the symbols personal becoming recognized by perceptions outside the personal self? It is a crack in the visage of the self-confident, the innocent diaspora of self’s many smaller selves across the plains and valleys of countries and ideas known to the self.

In the wreck. In hands becoming and unbecoming parts of you. In pain. In the caves where wence we first arrived, thinking how bejeweled life is with these stalactites and salty pools of brine. And we consigned the pigments of crushed flowers and roots to this dark gallery. In hope.

For hope is that eternal letting go the finite breeze that wraps a cord of despair around the living entropy. I am become. As the sky lifts its purple shawl from blue-black pools of light where crickets and ants strive to exist outside our perception of them, something empty rolls through this filled space, empty and expressing hope that in this raw, filled physicality a thought could surge of radical nothing, the dream of satellites become planets and stars crushed into the precious components (gold, zinc, carbon, ceramic, copper, uranium, etc.) until theirs is a radical nothing void of self’s undying need to be perceived. Hope lies, then, in the letting go of things constructed, filled the self with inferences of limiting possibility. In emptiness a fish becomes the infinite, the many empty gestures of being.

Action stills. I am the air. The earth is setting. Breathing and exhaling. You are become the gray. Dreaming life, it is become. Action stills. Filled physicality and stars are crushed. Diaspora of self. I observe. Why struggle on? Oh sad display. Thus, time ends. We are in our little boats, frozen in the stasis of war. In everything a burst of raw potential.

I am the air. The heart is pulpy, a lump of physicality. Pictures form a pulse between ennui and action’s form. Is this not love? Without which life? If I bleed I do not know it. I dream of you. A fingernail, a handkerchief, a bit of bread, a lock of hair. My love for you. If there is beauty where no thought could find it so, then, is it beauty? The earth is setting. We call it a chariot. At the shore, stentorian surf. A miracle? The ship rests. Here. Shadows become atmosphere. Shadows form and become solid essence. Shadows enmesh and become stasis. Breathing and exhaling. The place of light again. A ball of flame to knot them up again. The world is thus in patterns. The secret thinks of time. And bodies think in chronology. You are become the gray. We are, then, what our body says is so. We slip away.

6. entrechat (interwoven)

Dreaming life, it is become. The great thesis:

Light is good.

Living- pulse and flame.

To become again and again, the messy load of life

took up as pinions lift themselves on empty stairs.

What of the slow leak in which fuels leave the

carburetor and are wasted as a flame in the black

exhaust? To be, and to be over and over and over

again. To lose the skies in the car’s black exhaust,

to build of the flames empty stairs above the fray

of mere brute physicality.

I lifted my eyes and the world had become. slept. And the world slept with me. I dove into the water and the eyes shut tight, bringing black and purple plains under the sun’s reach, being myself a symbol of that heat which is buried below such cold, dark plains, a symbol of the world become in me mere heating and cooling, diving and sleeping, being and becoming. Here,

my eyes lift me up again.

To live. To smell the tar as it newly covers the

messy earth below. I believe and it is so. To bury

the father or the mother or the son, the daughter,

the lover, the friend and push through again the

factitious super-being we become, to believe in

the shape, design, and structure of the car pushing

through snow or rain or heat or wind while in the

car the eye is trapped within clean lines and

super-being overcoming physicality.

The car door shuts and its sound we alone

control. We walk and the wood, the plastic, the

rubber of our shoes makes fiction out of earth’s

mere physicality. Lo, it is we who do control the

sounds we make. We are the great makers of

variegated sound, creators of ennui in the midst of

action and drama.

Where the silence of an empty room crushes

physicality there is that potential of windows

shattering, chairs catching on fire. The world?

What is it? Speech and subtle noise? The artist,

overcome with physicality, puts down this brush

to rub these fingers in the paint and catch the

clear swathes of light on fire with evanescent oils

and powders.

An old man ventures into the light, gray and purple, crouched as if being vigorously clubbed on the back with a wing full of the empty shape of things. The artist circles round the bones now piled up, an empty skull atop a spine and blackened ribs, rising over the knotted bones composing hip and leg and foot, a mere facsimile of life become the artist’s study, from the common light become the focus of myth after Daumier or Goya. The old man who lives at the edge of town on a browned, white stone house….

the artist who sleeps in the basement, rent free, living on the lights and oils and powders which build facsimiles of breathing and exhaling, ennui and action, myth and simple being.

Here in the small prick of the universe the stars belong to no one, burn no song but fuel, build no gods but chemicals from simple elements. The brush is not touched by stardust but by egg whites and crushed cochineals, petals, roots, and minerals. The old man does not become the painted thing, but lives in simple physicality (overcome with life’s ennui, become the lazy hiss of an ocean against the physical plain).

What is the physical plain? Shards of glass, I say. And you corrupt your senses with the tactile pulse, or clear potentiality. I say ‘shards of glass scattered across a field through which an army of bare-footed brutes must cross’. Do you imagine these brutes dodging, leaping, or weaving their way between bits of glass blades? Or do you see them stoically marching on, or losing their nerve altogether?

The mind’s fit itself so easily that all assumptions

naturally seem predetermined, a priori bits of

thought come through the barrier empirical

language structures build around perceptions of

the sense, concepts of the sense in living ennui or


Happiness, let go. The glass shards become soft

waves of sand. The soldiers become simple

baseball players on the field.

To the end of the end of the end. Light a small fire in the primitive glen. Paint on the rocks formed naturally some portraits of old men who’ve made self ebb out and be devoured by the sky. to the end of the end of the end. The world’s first moment of its end? The tired, static image of time refreshed in that small fire, burning on the eve of the end of these here thousand years, the end of years starting with one, to the end of the end of the end. Small fires booming like natural forest fires, crackling like vast volcanic clouds, which send down seething bits of pumice. But ours is a bit of white ash, facsimile really of the cool snow against a blue-black monochrome the eye has painted on all things living, natural and factitious.

Seconds come down to this end and we are wiped out by a single gesture, the end of this millennium, while in the primitive glen the same small creatures see the same moon, taste the same moisture in the air, smell the same oak, the same pine, and hunt or hide in the same way as before. Only we discern from this last second of this millennium to that first spark of time that ushers in the next millennium. The world was meant for this, in our minds, to be wrung out, the draining of the useless oils and powders, which did not touch the swathe of emptiness with flame.

Radical nothing where previously only potentiality called out ‘ring, ring the bells and light the roman candles that the end of the end of the end should come’.

What gloom! The end of the sun! The gases

separate. The ball of light dissolves in empty

space. The colors of the sun collide with flat

absorption, shining black pall over previous sun.

This is the theoretical potential and, the radical

nothing rises from the surface of ‘thing’ and spills

out the black flames, which envelop the bright

gases with that dark ennui.

This could be the spirit. What is it? The initial pulse of life came through stasis, burst from that core beyond nothing (for nothing in itself implies a presence in potentiality).

We sleep. We load ourselves with memories of sensation. We are become a universe on our sinuous coils charging the molecular atmospheres with lightning. What do we know? What has thought become? I cannot stand in a crowd and have my thoughts beat through the clothes I wore, the skin I cover up with perfumes, colognes, and powders, further burying the self I knew myself to be (in relation to the throngs of other selves rushing to work, to buy groceries, etc.).

We ignite in utter stasis. False light brings shape and physicality to our eyes and our fingers. The edge of the line of empty space dotted with molecular presence curves away from us and we are yet engulfed with it. Its physicality can dominate the logic of a thought become empirical, scientific reasoning in the face of such gaps of space constructing a tube, a baseball bat, a plane, a race car, atlatl, rock, a dusty road, etc.

On this littoral sea gulls rest or scratch the sand

for sweet comestibles lost from the maws of

humans and their pets. The beach is pockmarked

with the lost stuff, a hot dog halved and

jettisoned, or bits of potato chips. We try to rest

our eyes on seagull sheen and here believe

ourselves a part of it, what drifted over the land

and discovered this little swathe of tan between

the churn and the sprawled out city.

We cool ourselves in the surf and burn ourselves brown and red in the sand. What do we experiment with? The blue shiver and the red heat, the coming and going of light. We place ourselves between. The seagulls drift into view, neither in the red nor blue of light, but feasting off the leavings of a civil being, a constructor of things.

The beach flattens presence to that blanched


Somehow the ocean is a pan upon which oils burned off, their vapors blending with the light to form concepts of distance, impulse towards ennui, which is the great release of self from conscious cataloging: The first breath of the beach came from us. It is a mere line between physicality and shape shifting, between empirical knowledge and

intuitive inference.

We are the waves and the eddies and the strong undercurrents which take the strongest swimmers down. We are the seagulls, even as they are apart from us, conscious only of the trash we leave behind.

Slowly burning away. This dust. The beach. Try to slip into the scene naturally, not as a life, not as a constructed thing, but as a background breeze creating energy in a windbreaker or making some coiffure capture the scenic day.

Standing. Beginning to follow the waves out from where they gathered their inertia from a small dimple in the water to the great foamed curve that pulls and throws the detritus from nature and from us.

I want to get to us. This is the ‘we’ waving to the gulls, throwing bread to the gulls, running faithfully, fearlessly into a great gathering of gulls. Nature pulls us along. We are convinced by it that we are who we say we are. The sun, it is a sheen of order, which we are become. No messy thing could build a pier, could measure the distance of the beach in meters and miles.

We all trundle on. When there is not the sun, when clouds roil the golden lake above our heads we are destroyed. Our messy selves combine with nature’s jagged edges, send us running to the safety of rooms and little suns. This is not the simplistic definition of life concealing its own diffuse existence in the simple lines of manufactured things. Nature itself is in jeopardy here. We are, then, the definition this world seeks.

In this wretchedness. The two ideals life spilt:

grace, and self-preservation. It is nothing. The

animal releases itself from itself.

In this wretchedness. At frenetic perspectives the

catalyst to motion. It is almost an emotion. And

the soil tends to grind. All this safe writing

about patterns. We are they. Degrees of quality.

Take a crucible, making the stars reflect.

The two ideals life spilt: grace, and self-

preservation. The miracle occurs where the stars

split up (to sing in the blue-black expanse).

‘The magnets of the soul’. The spirit cannot escape

patterns. To burn. To implode. From empty

birth a miracle of stars.

It is nothing. Sitting on an empty plain, humans

being visceral exchange. The atmosphere is colored with this goo, across the blue-black distance of the sea where deep-sea drifters are oblivious to moons or stars or planets. The animal releases itself from itself. Wireless beats in the air. Lush fields of aquamarine. The sun, we are inured of it, peaking through a heavy fog. Material forms egg, drew a single cell, which comets take up in a blue-black shroud. A cloud burst as you fell sleepy (and while a universe spilled out of the radio dial).

slowly burning away.

slowly burning away.

7. ciseaux (scissors)


An ink

Drop settles

On a clear



And separates


From that





And nerve


And joints



A solid

Which has become a gas

A far less


Which is come from our proximity to magnets,


The loss

Of physicality in it

The existence

Of mist and hence


Empty space




(I am


a head

I am)

To load


With fire

And smoke and

All that



Of physicality


The shore is the last

Bastion against

A forest fire


Through the distant


I remember for I


From that

High tower

Where a tether

Connected me to physicality and

Gave me

The distance

Covered in a smoky pall from the far-distant



In this, source blows

Cool air breathes

concepts for others

we platens

grace where birds

burst forth from air

converse and heat

takes up their syllables

machine, ribs froze

and rocked back and forth

songs sung of harvest

accidentally sounded out

bits fall instinct

pinions, which were webs,

swallows, phantoms slid

across the copy-machine

clear sky, nothing

in evolution, stasis

just below cars, homes,

platens we have become

no torch cutting itself

from empty vistas

a history, the breath

of humans experiencing

a man who slept under a tree

and the potentiality

lost in, hiding

below the stars, for

we are they, we say

drifting aimlessly

the lights at night

tell us we are made

the fellahs in clay hovels

tell us we are made

coal mines, sift and sing

for platens we become

force of the furnace

made burnt copies of the work

what wrought such stuff

cracked in a million filaments

suddenly cooled then

left their copied selves

(wedges driven in)

separate solid and space

inert presence into the sun

which made us lift our eyes

to smoke the ores

to burn ourselves to ash

over a walled town

bejeweled in purple banners

ash, ash and the below

the blue-black maw of earth

the world frenetic

gasp as stars lit up, became

catalysts of the street

where we bore nature from

wheel of a car spirit

shifting the earth and stars

broken fiery split

oceans of metal, water, and fire

the open air and clouds

become the heads and feet

of black dial such boom

we built ourselves upon

full count, Phillies bloom

the sport deciphers

the blue-black surface

of essence become creator

things, all thought, a scene

of action we could root for

emotion stills when games

die without being decided

streak through the sky

and you are become

and the soil and the wings

platens upon which we are

and the ghosts tend to leak

into the unknown corners

all this safe writing

all the earth stills

weather whittles down

the bravest monuments

and pebbles and the farmers

swept away in bowls of dust

and the urban poor, etc.

become the detritus of such a fuss

and the universe booms!

(what do we hear?)

gold and the sulfur pallor

of dawn and dusk alike

wine made music nothing

but the

Eyewash below the sky

of satellites

all these safe patterns

converge on thoughts

genetics filled with fissures

making webs into pinions

thus the human emerges

from the simple clay

city, sun-baked brick

piled upon piled upon

a civilized fringe

on a hostile plain

a miracle occurs

the world is turned again

through earth and shatter

the myth and the songs

in search of prey and fire

we trundle along

on the coordinated path

thinking ourselves impulsive

a crude shape blocked off

which is what we platens are

and splintered, factories

from what haphazard drift

to sing, to stretch, to paint

this is the letting go

that purple flash cracking

our constructed, quiet veneer

the air, that heavy water

from wence a web struck out

glazed the soil, made

the stars and the sun potential

branches overlapping

the human melange

‘magnets of the soul’

‘magnets of the soil’

the sheer oblivion, euphoria

of letting go and stepping through

in the air such life

could fall from stars

in place between stars

from wence there came

this ship tossed in shadows

it is the only body I know

a thing let loose

its own inertia

which did design it so

become its highs and lows

high perch oblivious to deck

and thus the real design

riggings, its pattern is inertia

disguised in stasis

cutting across drifts of life

where form takes up potentiality

of the sea, the froth, detritus

made a blanket of pulpy jewels

covered up in salt’s ennui

the body turns in it

earth’s crystal sphere

crushed by the weight of the sky

the world in rest sleeps

through the grinding motion

oblivious, between shifts of work

we occasionally look up

we cannot escape patterns

we are made of it

the frenzy of a game, a match

which yanked us from it

life wretched, life in the forest

made the earth a blanket

at night to feel safe

with the cut stones

with animals you happened to be

and yet you disappear behind

the haphazard lay of life

on such an ordered design

to capture cells in empty space

for what is the mind made for,

to delight on color alone?

we trundle on

the separate groups

design themselves, but all are

smelting the black gold

beneath the sun and the moon

a frenetic sweep of river

takes a few away, and

nitrates burst from what seed

we did plant ourselves

the satellites belong to all of us

the seed does not

an archetype of thought

the seed becomes

to race, to start fires

or contemplate that black

stasis, miracle that bloomed

from the furthest potentiality

planets as color fields

for pieces of the eye’s veneer

sitting on an empty plain

we platens stamp ink onto

and through this or that valley,

sheet of unmade living and dying

inventions that gave the mind

a pause, a structure

such ennui, structure

from the potential letting go

visceral exchange, such life

which follows its own

instinct above/below limits

where webs become pinions…..

8. sous-sus (under-over)

rigid patterns fill the void

with that potentiality

the accident of ‘soul’

the ‘core’ of our architecture

the empty plain becomes a lot.

the empty plain becomes a lot.

as I am the earth

I am the silence.

What gloom!

‘slow down, separate yourself from life”

the word is not a shaft of amber light.

‘the fire roots in childhood’

you’re so sad, under

strange waters, reaching

for the earth.

‘your own adult shatters self and selves’

‘the word is not a shaft of turquoise light’

this is the persona becomes salient

you’re alone again

motion strives

to undo your sense

‘so I speak and am a ghost in earth-sense’

the word is not a shaft of salmon light.

you become yourself

even as the earth


‘I let out the breeze which burns through me’

the word is not a shaft of light

‘on thought, a pattern of sound and sense’

one day before strange

echoes ripple clear

words overhead

‘we interrogate ourselves nightly’

the word is not a shaft of light

‘the sand slipt in glassy strands’

we understood, we

stood by while others

made the earth a life

‘what have we become, mercurial speakers?’

the word is not a shaft of light.

the sun becomes

a crimson blot

in the blue-black sky.

‘when we are separated by gulfs of time

we alone live and are commanding thought’

‘a fleck of amethyst captures the mind’s


the word is not a shaft of crimson light

‘when we are emptied of thought we are


You would touch

your sleeve and know

‘as the writer lets words dial in their own


the word in not a shaft of opal light

‘if you could know yourself you could empty


the word is not a shaft of blue-black light.

you would cough

and you would see

the earth spray out.

‘the top of the skull glittering with crystal

accidents of syntax’

‘a mood, mantra of the word-less exchange’

the word is not a shaft of


you suffered alone

so you made it


‘when words reciprocate no meaning but pure

syntactic joy or ennui’

the word is not a shaft of light

‘could you slip away beneath such halcyon earth


You could feel

water and believe

in dust and heat.

‘your sacred essence born forth from

self-awareness of your own being;

no gods or demons live but in the idleness

of the mind’s mélange of thoughts’

then how is the other,

how does pain evaporate

in that business of exchange?

‘how, in that eternal potentiality contrived?’

the word is not a shaft of purple light.

‘we escape, we discover, we design’

then held in your hand

some weight of dust

you knew, you sensed.

‘then held the riggings and set sail to flame’

the word is not a shaft of orange light

‘we speak on death’s behalf’

the splash of words

against the empty,

shift-less gaze.

‘before there is death’s discovery we

see the flickering of life as but a smoky pall.’

the word is not a shaft of cerulean light.

you wake alone,

so strange

to write of it.

‘so slowly does thought become a stick or a rock’

‘that in the burst moment arrows and axe


the word is not a shaft.

so essence

is in dust

and word-sense

‘we become creatures with cut cloth and stone’

‘we suffered no more the fang’d and talon’d


the word is not a shaft.

so shallow

pools conceal

as well as deep seas

‘so long in essence this wave of life’

the word is not a shaft of light.

‘for near the turn of that dark time six billion

souls flutter’d….’

What essence did

we cull from

using words?

‘we messed in the mud and made bricks and


the word is not a shaft of light.

‘in that invention of breath what golem raged’

you were the sun

of vocables

rung upon potentiality

‘the atomic age defined us as atoms splitting’

the word is not a shaft of light.

‘we discovered emptiness constructing solid


you slept alone

and made of earth-

sense a blankness.

the word is not a shift-less light.

‘you bled and we sutured your


‘I sleep alone’

the word is not a shaft of aqua light

‘I sleep alone’

so as you become

you could not know

what you were being

‘when you are resting your head on the pillow all


dissolves in its feathery load until you see the

simple laws

of essence become cold fact, cold potentiality’

the word is not a shaft of violet light.

‘to contradict the self is to deny the singularity

of essence’

if we held onto our

empty potentiality

nothing would be limiting

‘so we slip away, gray powder dissolved in sea-


how word is not a shaft of jade light

out, out, one letter

on its side become

a symbol of earth or dust

‘Reach out to your neighbors, discover the source

of your drinking water; trace the trail that brings

meat , that brings eggs, that bring vegetables to

your plates; get to know the folks who sew your

clothes, collate your magazines’

the word is not a light

I would become

despite the vacuity

earth-sense does occupy.

the word is not a light

you as the sense

which grew in me

till I wrote you

the word is not a light

made you a shadow

of letters and in-

complete gestures.

‘I become the reservoir, discovered the dairies and

made friends in the factories, etc.’

the word, the earth, the light.

If the seas design

our words for them

are we a light?

What light which is a word?

How does earth-sense


to us without possessing us?

Which shaft of light made word?

Far, from out of the desert the

potential effervesces.

When we suffer, when we experience joy we are apart from syntax and become our animal faith of earth -essence. We believe. The rest of history dissolves in such ennui, where lazily we contemplate the fate of symbols on a playing field we hold so dear (as they would say ‘vicarious play’, but more: the leading edge of super-being across the average melange life gives out to her six billion souls fluttering through the gray smoke, purple flecks of light inside a blue-black sphere of shape and near solidity).

How else can we escape ourselves, this mortal ether trapped under a belled glass case without the lifting of the load? What is frivolous is then the core of our solidity, where atoms blend with essence, blend with near-solidity, with sheer potentiality exploited,

where athletes bend the sense perception with that constant shifting of loads of sheer potentiality, the earth undone beneath their super-being strides, become a puff of smoke below their springing selves in sheer potentiality. The earth is left in its own muck, swirling in a glassy froth of empty space, constructing our perception of a house, a bus, a brick, a street, an unmowed field.

What else is there for us to be? Super-being, constructed of ideas and sheer potentiality, not wallowing in this prosaic muck that fills our everyday with particles of sand and drops of mercury.

Beside the living dynamic such things bring we cannot let the mind be eaten by its pillowy cold sense; the earth is once again alchemical. adumbrations of the self reflected in the sun’s rise and descent, the mythopoetical

Osiris or

Inanna for Dumuzi


earth and disappearance,

subtle amber light

becoming ziggurats

becoming Karnak

where the mysteries become ensnared with

sense and its potentiality.


does not the wind bear down upon the corn

you plant?

Does not the rain pummel the lentils you plant?

Does not the sun

slowly burn away the honey you store for me?

Does not the lightning

separate the trees you cultivate from their deep


As the symbols of life descend

to earth below

what does the miracle of sound contain which


does not?

Ennui, the precious letting go of life’s dead load.

to speak out of

necessity, to speak

to break the

gray veneer that

silence brings.

We can thus pretend the earth is done with us.

A time out of ourselves.

We pulse, we liberate the sound from its tight


of raw


To conclude, imply, infer, to bring out of the ground this light’s liberal fronds, which cover up this net of empty air two souls are face to face within. Or to cough, or to shift uncomfortably in your leather chair, mahogany chair, to scrape your feet aimlessly on the blue rug, the blonde plank-board floor, to raise the voice above the inaudible grunt or sigh as if to speak but letting no word enter (just the awkward face to face we cringe from, hiding instead behind a nervous laugh, a knowing sigh, etc.) a step of time incinerates.

We can thus pretend this earth is done with us.

A word’s meaningless potential.

Time’s measure froze, oh frost the distant berry

glows in its blue essence, dead on the end of a

blackened, living stick.

Life’s prick of light came out of mouth, oh froth

that churned the clear sentence with such

deadened sense, time’s flash.

Time’s matter spoke, oh spokes the disparate

meanings as if round an axle radiating out, the

wheel a flash of time’s inertia.

Light’s flick of life burned out of much cold sauce

which sloshed over the bowl’s potential nothing,

deadened senses through which time passed.

There is matter and there is the self scalloped out

of gesture and meaning in the field electric where

pure thought is the raw red wire pulsing with

sheer potential energy not directed or forced to


a circuit as would deduce any essence or


Life’s flash of light inside a deadened, frozen fruit. I stumble alone though, with my own sense sprung from my necessity. Even as world and other selves do conjugate the verb tense of my action or imply the range of my responses to a baseball or a berry deadened on its branch. Yet the self asserts some measure of its own necessary potentiality. So when I touch the frozen bulb of fruit I am in that sweetened metaphor of life budding on a skeletal branch, or from the ash of such black thing a blue effervescence could sustain the

engine I am in, walking through my own skull’s instinctive range of potential beliefs. The air is mine and mine alone. If I were to fall asleep at a baseball game the players disintegrate in the nothing I become. That soporific haze of me lifts the ball into the air where it unravels in the heat, which leaves my body as I sleep. When I awaken, the physical reality adopts potential progress and I’m told I’ve missed a grand slam, an unassisted triple play, etc. In secret, though, the self knows only what is true to its potential necessity. If I were to believe that a woman or a man could fly then I would cause myself to need the potential wreck of the body on hard ground, which could result from such an attempt as lifting up yourself and stepping out across the edge. But I do not need such disasters, so I do not leap from the highest point and hope to glide innocuously over valleys and towns (pointing to myself this or that conflagration of life below).

9. coup-de-pied (neck of the foot)

I stumble alone.

What is the air to me?

Where does the ground

meet my strides?


The inertia of it’s

full load


from the barrel

end of a bat or

the fuel burned


a racecar

engine’s carburetor.

I let myself become a platen stamping out

shape after shape

of radical nothing in the guise of such image and

such metaphor.

as in surface tension.

The light fell upon the gray stones

in such a way that they appeared


in silver and gray scales of a great

carp sliding across

the earthen


The air disburses the scents and oils.

We are working in a small musty room

grinding millet, the wheat, the corn,

when we notice for the first time the

way the sun blends with the earth-dark

shades of a working-room.

Where is the scent? The possible


it holds?

“The church is a good walking distance away from our row of homes lined with stonewalled backyards. Each house is either filled or divested of/with hydrangeas, lilies, ivy, larkspur, or clover. The working men drink while the working women set up tables to sell cakes and pastries for the local parish priest”. The dry, oiled scene.

In Breugal’s kitchens,

van Ostad’s peasant bakeries,

in Chardin’s slaughter rooms

the chalky light conceals the earth and air.

We stumble out of the bar and forget we are


by such menial necessity as grinding seeds.

Sun the

room is filled with our heat.


The creatures of the soil, creatures of the


disguise the factitious self in natural

veneer, a simple

factitious body rose caparisoned in jewels of pill

bugs and fleas.

I abjure the working life

even as I cling to the miller’s wheel or am myself clutching mortar and pestle………….

10. grand battement encloche (big beat like a bell)

We are the sad-the chalk gray. We are the square-cut stone now fissured by earth’s weeds.

Heavily we trundle on and on and on….What luck! We disassemble space inside the mind and make of it a plume of smoke billowing upward and outward from such a simple point as where we lit the finite space on fire with the casual interpretation of its empty corners filled with our potential gestures.


waking eye,

would you walk upon the mud-brick streets?

Would you fill the air with incense and liniments that we might feel the gray death upon our waking selves?

Great Vishnu,

when the sky is cracked like porcelain, when the

sea becomes a bowl overflowing, where is the quiet hiss of your sighs? Where is the soft whir of your calming moans?

The natural mind constructs a habitat of steel and concrete and drywall, wrought from the natural development of a natural human mind developing such techniques (and thus a Burger King is as natural as lemon grass; a strip of highway is as natural as a flailing mackerel).

What do we search for, then? The letting go of self from what potentially exists beyond the factitious view we devour.

In the mind, perfect space is not impossible. In the mind, perfect linear lines are all it can

conceive. But in the natural construction, be it human or otherwise, such things are found

impossible. So the eye fills in the gaps of imperfection and a perfect linear line exists from its imperfect reality.

The mind perceives an event result, does not perceive gradations of the act become “The Battle of the Bulge”, “Anzio”, or “Truk”. The linear line becomes perfection, logical inevitability ( a line of men goes forward, naturally so, perfectly straight).

We trundle on and on and on.

Our nacre, glimmering in the surge of the sun,

our phosphorous, burning in the bulbs of

electricity, our inks, our papers, our oils, our egg whites

forming a star or a dinner conversation or

the beating pulse of the shore.

When sound

first made it onto cylinders of wax the world gave

out a sigh. But to hear the sigh become

disassembled from

the giver of the sigh,

the voice itself become factitious,

a manufactured thing……

We remember history. The tales become

simplistic anecdotes of our private lives.

The air is green.

It is the calm

extension of

the mind’s


Oh sacred hopelessness, I will not separate or crush the senses from the self I knew, senses which tear asunder the parts of this galaxy I walk inside, make myself a portrait through.

What gloom! Slow down, separate yourself from


Make noise! As the clouds disburse so too the eye.

The word is not a shaft of light, sound slipt.

We are in the word, immersed, but not a part of


When we are emptied of thought we are lucid.

This is theory.

We are inured to such designs.

When words reciprocate no meaning but pure

speculative joy,

when sounds are merely a light rumble or distant


Then held the riggings and set sail to flame.

For we are upon the sea sifted out of the dark


So essence is in dust and in word-sense we


the structure and potential gesture of our words.

In that invention of breath what golem raged?

In that ennui

what mention of dramatic bursts?

You are as the sense that grew in me till I wrote


The world….the earth….the factories.

If the seas design our words for them, are we a


Destroy yourself, then leave the world alone.

We were fed daily the same food, a simple flat


This bare sustenance becomes our wasted ends.

Inside this super sense we are a million


from the fulcrum’s potential loaded in.

When the sky is cracked like porcelain, when

the sea becomes

churning and unforgiving, palettes upset in


The sea disburses the scents and oils. We are


What is the air to me?

The mesh of living and dead, indiscernible.

You sleep, you implode. You find pieces of

yourself in plaster.

Which glimpse of light suggested word?

To contradict the self is to deny the singularity

of things as they flow from the same finite source.

The atomic age defining us as atoms

splitting….thus, the word is not.

So we think in terms of blood and bone, not


We were inured to volcanoes, tornadoes, and


The trick of the mind: is to flood the empty self with sense, lines, colors, and designs…..and these become the sinews across the surface of the eye as it slowly shuts itself. Do not the sounds at work clot up your mind, bring you away from such cold thoughts? To conclude, imply, infer bring out of the ground a light to step across. Life’s flick of light burned out of such cold sense.

We sit on the fringe of belief and believe we are


In secret, though, the self knows only what it

needs to know, or what it will accept as being in


Our inks,

our oils

adumbrations of time slid through seas of

dendritic surf….

there is matter and there is the ash the soul did

scallop out of it.

Coda (the end)

How does the universe end? When we close our eyes. How does the wind destroy the house? By having first the house built up. Where is time the measure of all things? Time is not a measure but an implication of action. In such hard soil the first bones become stony and brittle. In the slight creation of sound an empty cavern becomes a potential bell of sound. For time could be measured in the passing of twin comets. Time could be measured in the flow of a luminous river through a light-less world. We are, then, what we become.

Here we come

full circle bound in mind’s rich veneer

it pastes

on outside things.

If it is ordered in lines

it is a factitious thing……….it must be so.

If it covers the sky with spires and paints the clear

air with rose windowed saints and gods

it must be so.

If it is out of the tongue

a description of things it must be so.

If we could walk and our feet loosen up the

silence of the world with our subtle scrapes

against stone, our clicks of wood and hard rubber

on linoleum or marble then

it must be so.

And so we go………

on and on and on and on…

We are, then, what we become.

In this wretchedness, source of metal’s heat, it’s easy to slip into the radical nothing where no clock measures the distance from self to its ideal, the split impulse of life itself:


and ennui.

All other emotions a reaction against or towards these two plain states.

We step out of wretchedness

and it is nothing we are in.

About Paul Gordon 3009 Articles
Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv

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