Friday, June 24, 2016

You Have Not Always Known What You Are


Whoever you are, the pulse of your being is within you
Unknown to you, I recognize you from afar
The talkers have defined you—not I, I leave you undefined
Seeing past all that, beyond their fetishes, beyond your accidents

I do not limit you to any country, creed, culture, or language
You come like everyone from anywhere and nowhere at all
Nation, people, family, race—abstractions for the weak of mind
I look past your segments, surfaces, and appurtenances

You have not always known what you are
The bigoted of heart have choked your soul with smoke
And hateful violent men with chains and whips and guns
Have sunk a wound in you that festers in the dark

The wound goes where you go breathing with your lungs
Hearing with your ears the suffering it wants to hear
And with your eyes seeing the world in sepia tones of hurt
What else had kept you ignorant of yourself?

Were you born into this?
Have you never known anything but this?
I reckon you the first verse of a new chapter from the hymn of you
Today you will father and mother a transparent people of joy

No injustice within yourself will bring about justice
No violence within yourself will end violence
No bitterness within yourself will make life sweet
No wound within yourself will heal the wounded

All deep down things remain untouched by human hate
Do you see the sun, the clouds, the sky, the stars?
No man or woman who cursed existence ever soiled them
How much more untainted the phenomena of you

Joyful knowing does not come like a change in the weather
You, I, we have had to build a monument of forgetting
Brick by brick until a tower of useless love lifted into the sky
Dipping back into history to free us from ourselves

Are there no mysterious constellations in your soul?
Blue summer nights keep eternal appointments for you
Ignore the trippers and the tongue-tiers
And discover the unknown cosmos of yourself

Every account of you has been too logical
They only talk of forgetting you who never knew you
I will not name you so the others may come to you
And though you stand apart from these my vain perceptions

It pleases me to mark the silence of your eyes
And guess in them a ghostly property
A soul like a gazelle spacious with energy, alive, and beautiful
You having arrived, moving on like atoms in the wind

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Sentimental Ego


To whom these scattered particles of speech?
Though I, perhaps, is one way
It has been done since the early days,
The speaking self is just one of the parts.
The envelope of mystery that I address
In dialogue with absences
To the blameless night may never reach
Its destination.  But I is undeterred.

Syphilitic schizophrenics walking in the park
Stave off the bad words emanating from
The unintentional topiary shrubs.
The purpose of these judgments will be
Revealed.  Not to me.  Who the hell are you?
A turd dissolves in the grass just as the self
Against the bushes.  To the far-flung deserts of the soul,
To the evaporated cities of the mind,

Jagged transition declares the inexorable
Tipping of epochs, like the temporal subduction
Under the house where the wrapping paper
Of children sloughs off year after year
Till the big one jolts everyone involved
To a new consciousness—of life, yes,
Life conscious of itself as for the first time
In the midst of this long series of aftershocks.

The present is maddening, in a way, despite
Its salutary effects.  Everything, all at once,
With you and ignoring you, a glimpse
Into totality, an infinitesimal part
Of the perception of God, for a fraction
Of a part of a second, must be indulged
As an intense pleasure, half pain,
In roughly regular intervals, like a season.

All things end where they begin,
In the middle of other things.
The backside of the hour does not go down
So smooth.  The hovering between chains of sense
Opens into long vacancies, or vacations,
For the hard-working angels of the tribe,
Whose ephemeral half-lives, thoroughly known,
Have been going on beautifully without you.