How it is, part exponential

We followed the arc of the diver, losing it in the fog, wishing to make it out clear.  I might have said this meant “philosophy.”

“Poetry,” he said, “is utilizing known language to invoke the unknown.”  Or certaintly uncertainty, or something like that, which I liked, and indicated by asking what is not uncertain?

Your hands, the music.  My desire, a naming for them.  I think of your waist as a séance.

What is it to be crippled?  I keep trying to use words.

Another asked about the “arc of the diver.”  How should I know?  All of my sentences should be read as questions.  I wonder how divergent questions or commands might be… as statements.

She said, “it falls between.  It has to go somewhere.”  I guess we pressed it there… were poietic… since we couldn’t find a name.  “Dis-appearance” might be one.  Like a guess that can’t be falsified.

We all hold a paper marker printed “You are here.”  Perhaps paper is too substantial.  But it still seems like an invitation I wish we had.

Maybe this is why Albahari inscribed “Words are something else.”  We leave it at that.  And are flummoxed as to what “that” refers to.

Still we look.

You move like flocks of birds that wheel.  I’ve never comprehended “swarm.”  Mathematics doesn’t cut it, though it certainly uncertainly tries.

The telephone Pictionary of ear-mouth-brain when we issue sound or gaze.  Don’t foibles equal actions?  Parts of us experience this as violence, as valence.

Relation as a struggle to balance victimhood and perpetration.  Uncertainly.

When or where does this infiltrate unknown?

He went on to say…

I thought (imagined?) your ankles, knees, elbows and knuckles as adroit sworls in swift mountain streams.

So also losing it in the fog, hoping to remember where the trees were.  Philosophy.  Or was it the forest?

Poetry as ocean surface between “known”/unknown?  So wavy, so heaving.  No one said that.

The richest respect he gave was his readiness to call me “Nobody.”  Or “Anybody.”  Carte blanche.

She said.

I can hardly perceive what’s in your head now.  Potentia?  An horizon of waves.  A place where words press images press events, the banal.  Perhaps.  Uncertain sphere of unknowing?  They say learning happens there.  Like a cell in a culture, animal in terrain.  Cacophony of dreams.

Each time we encounter.

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“That of a bird floating on the wind without moving its own wings, that of a bird which is flown by the wind.” Zeami, 15th Century

Powerful. Wow. Thank you, wanted advice…

Unwanted Advice: Reflections from a Self-Appointed Life Counselor

It’s a flagrantly irreverent kite, as it dances a silly jig back and forth, fancy-free and a mile high in the gray sky. Shadows of swallows and swifts dart all around, you can’t much see them but can feel them hurling by just inches away.  All this high above a green river, slicing through a narrow forest, carving into the dead center of city. Just a concrete bridge, an updraft, and an insect haven for the evening hunger.

Yes but I’m not happy, he says in broken English, laughing only a little. Because even though it is a plastic-blue-Walmart-superhero kite, this is serious.

You have eagle eyes, he adds, as I point out to him where in the forest the string has hitched itself. Although I side with the runaway kite, mocking his owner, finding communion with the disinterested birds.

His little boy is concerned as his father sternly reels…

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Lettering

Dear Michael, Dear Jonathan, Dear Scott, Dear Laurie, Dear Lydia, Dear Sam; Dear Meghann, Dear Summer, Dear Tyler and Karl; Dear Edie, Dear Sara, Dear Mari; Dear Albert, Dear Paul, Dear Denise; Dear Tristan, Dear Aidan, Dear William; Dear Andy, Dear Pippin, Dear James; Dear Timothy, Dear Jada, Dear all of you who save my life from time to time, by being:

Perhaps I should not own a phone.  It’s Short Message Service, in my employ, allows a nearly ubiquitous, immediate reach of the text, from my thumbs.

Thank you for telling me about the exhibition, I have the retrospective tome near me even now, attempting to go in and near the two-dimensional images on paper.  It is not the same as being present to the sculptures and paintings, their ambience.  But now I know I could not move around them, nor touch them, I’d have only to use my eyes and very little of my body.

This obsession with connection.  Once I would have had to go to work unlinked to any of you for hours at a time.  Once my going home would mean your absence unless we arranged for sharing space and time.  Now I reach, I report, I ask and beg, and enter your lives like someone shoving a newspaper, pamphlet or flyer into your hands at will – without contact – propaganda blaring from speakerless speakers.

Your mails and email show deference and thought.  I am happy to have your works near at hand to consult and resort to time and again.  I see the care in the hand-writing, the pacing of thoughts, the reasoning reflection, the sense of your audience.  They lie about me on the floor, I can feel them, turn them, taste them if I wish.

Your phone makes a hum or a buzz.  An ejaculatory missive from Filbert again.  He’s lonely, he’s excited, he’s drunk.  He wants to share.  He needs to share.  He needs communique.  He wants connection.  He is not thinking of us, he suffers the duress of himself.  He spouts, he shouts, he slurs.  He insists he needs solitude and rest, needs quiet, less public.  At any hour, at all hours, these textual packets flow.

Perhaps I should not own a phone.

Where do the gaps that make the heart grow fonder bloom?  What is banal and what evental?

Thank you for your poem.  I will read it again and again.  Thank you for that clip of music, I repeat it throughout the days, when the mood demands an answer.  Thank you for your books, your artifacts, your gardens, your hands.  Thank you for your eye-contact (those of you I’ve sat or walked, camped or climbed with).  Thank you for the melodies of your particular voices.  Thank you for your hugs, your nourishing, your care.  Your listening.

I do remember the ground there, how it fell away desperately or rose violently into sky.  What the birds did.  Where the fire flowed.  Yes, the leaves.  Yes, the sleeping bags.  Here’s to the unknown trails, the stumbling, to whatever’s discovered.

I am sorry I flood your phones with less than thoughtful driveling – explosions of fear, anxiety, want.  Am I alone?  Am I alone?  Do I matter?  Does anyone want my voice?  Am I also missed?  But also love.  Yes, sometimes I merely wish to tell you the difference you make to being alive, that I feel you out there, somewhere…

Perhaps I should not own a phone.

How, the Owl

Who – would I listen to, be remade among today?

And where from a resistance?

We always know (somewhere in our bodies or bones) that ‘to begin’ was begun

long before what ‘begins.’

It is raining.

We say, “the rain has begun.”  How long ago?

We say, “I am here, now.”  For -?

Where are we?  How much?

We ask.

We are there.  Continuously outstripping a here.

When?  Why?

And how?  How?  How indeed.

So what is it – that we are seeing?

What is it we think we see?

How?  Why?  Why that and not other(s)?

Propensity.  Proprioception.  Perspective.

When?  Where?

Always already before or begun?

From which?

I’ve written before (again and again

when I take up the pen):

“I set out.”

From where?  Why?  When?  and whom?

Still how?  How?  How, indeed.

He looks in.

Into what?  And from where?

How indeed.

We set out.

per language, per feeling, per sensational thought,

per activity, movement, receipt.

We set out.

A Tenure & Promotion Dossier

To think.

To get done.

To be done.

To survive.

Get by.

Endure.

[what will feed and fuel us?

                                    how might we grow like errant plants?]

There is weight, great,

like words of Beckett,

terse and heavy

with ridiculous

mind

To go on.

In spite of.

Anyway.

[to round a bend, turn it in, be relieved

                                    to be accepted, acceptable, acknowledged.]

To count, to mean, to matter

Anyway.

Because

we happen

and go on…

[if I might vine, might drink the spoiled

                                    to live, to thrive, to weed]

To make the turn

into what grows

anyway, despite

out of joint, or time, or space,

terrorized

refusal

The flagrant

Remainder

Unmerited

Surplus

[as if we were another sort, not a same-seeded,

                                    same-growing, same-veined kind]

Even though at least one said:
“Everywhere

being is dancing”

and another

how alike are dancing and sex

And another

and another

the variety

the merited

surplus

 

We forgot.

Hold Lightly, Leave Be

 

Hold lightly, it said,

there are so many voices,

movements.

Hold lightly,

lest you repeat,

she said.

[the surfaces, and distance, beneaths]

I listened:

breezes, waves;

windiness and water;

the moon riding along,

each night so differently

the same.

 

Without repetition,

she said,

my hands open,

palms and whatever fingerprintings,

the bruising, barely,

again and again,

so differently.

 

How tides change,

or seasons:

things we’ve come to think of –

each you, each I,

each every –

quivering along

like leaves

 

through the years.

In other words:

over and over

without repeat

again, anew –

how ‘new’ requires reference

of similarity.

 

So love

hold lightly,

she said,

it says,

as wheat falls into ground

and suns set down, again,

as moons rise – (which, neither) – and

never the same.

 

Both-and

either-or

neither-nor

and so on

without repeat

within the like,

the long, the loving.

 

You come again.

I try to grip lightly –

the future never knows –

I’d like to leave it,

to gather you,

to hold…

you.  You.  You.

 

(Again, differently).

“Hold lightly”, you (she) says,

“lest you repeat

and grow tired…”

My palms are open                                                                             (to touch, to pass by)

I am trying to read,

to listen.

 

To leave be.