All-ways

HE in the feeling of HER approach.  That syrupy abyss.  Unknowing.  Every anticipation and guess.

HER name.  A bird’s song.  Bird’s songs (all of them).

What other flesh is.

Any time you are enabled

to touch it.

We could imagine IT as HIM wanting.  Awaiting.

But there is no resemblance to wait for.

Only HER, the delicious, dilemma, unknown.

Loss of memory.  Hope of presence.

“Ecstasy” as commonly referred –

– the surprising rarety of ‘being-out-of’…

“HER,” “HE” calls it, names it, designates, conjures, conceives.  (Perhaps “HER” has a name?)

In the center a shrine a temple.  And no center exists, except by imagining, by metaphor, metonymy.  Delusional illusion of some living cartography.

The words “NOW,” “HERE”…continuously NO/WHERE.

He longs.  Desires.  Fantasizes.  Dreams.

This is urgency.

Each pressing and critical, earnest, persistent scenario and situation –

In-sistent.

It’s always coming.  In.  The status and singling.  Ever singing.

Sometimes shrieking.

NO/WHERE : NOW/HERE.  Same scintillating occurrence, occurring… per-sist-ence, pursuant and ins-is-isn’t-it?  Awaiting approaching.

HE/HIM/HIS – SHE/HER/HERS                                            (with)

[All-ways]

What might have been experienced as “LONGING” – that which is extended, strained toward…

SHE… a recoiling, a reconnaissance, some new emission.

HE laughs, as if capitulating, a surrender, a stab, asunder.

THEY… blend and weave inconceived.  Inconceivable.  Unknown.  Never any stasis.  Never NOW/HERE, never NO/WHERE.

In other words, too many… uncountable stories (may) have begun (begin)…

[All-ways]

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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.

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.

Now, and so on: an addendum

I do not doubt that we are all capable of learning to freeze.  Or starve to death, for that matter.  Death will not be a stranger for any, for long.

.

There are reasons we are constituted in uncertainty.

We are able to learn.

Everyone will.

.

It’s why I told her how much I trusted her.  To change.  And therefore never knew anything, asking so many questions, again and then again, about plans.  Who knew when?  or then?  or now?  I said.  Things fluctuate as they die.

Or I never knew.  Having so little to do with facts or truth, beliefs or trust.  IS is always something else.  Or here is always different.  NOW has never been, in other words.  Even if the words are the same.

.

And. So. On.

Apparently.

.

There is music.  And recognition – recognizability – (memory?) – a passion for pattern, a shine to similar, a longing for location, locatability.  For what it’s worth – a pronounced inaccuracy and pro-found nostalgia.  As the ‘similar’ is founded on what’s been experienced before (pro-found), and at least less than (or more?) than present.  Pre-sent?  NOW was given / sent before?  I doubt that… but feel wary that that’s all we’ll ever know, never quite catching up to being.

In another sense: the inherent lag of perception.  How old (again, pre-supposedly) are the stars we ‘see’?  Or the squirrel on yonder branch; your eyes across the table; our held hands… by the time they register?

What happens, “now”?  And why are we occupied with what we call “next” when we can’t even exist at once’s occurring?  Seeking a head start?  A virtual or imagined pre-sent?

.

Yes I heard what you said…after you’d said it.

There’s our “now.”

The cut from stepping on glass… and then the pain… later.

The bite of food, licks of flesh, kisses… and then the tasting.

The breeze and then the leaf, light and then its outline.  Mostly shadow.

“Hello,” I reply in turn, but your head already bowed and path resumed, on the far sidewalk.

.

I fall behind.

.

Suppose this is why, in conversation, ever losing our way in delay, we ask “where were we?” rather than “where are we?”  What is it we wish to know?  Where do we hope to be with one another?

As I was saying – with requisite gap between whatever may have been transpiring in my ‘mind’ (or whereverywhere thinking occurs) and the sludgy musculature, instruments, and carefully crafted formulation of alphabetic symbols to display attempts of communication or composures…

…now I’ve forgotten…

Letter to a Lover – March 2018

The month of March, in Kansas, can be almost anything, like most of the other months of the year, almost.  Tonight it is moisty, breezy, there is wetness hovering like a redolent air, nearly a fog.  I am killing myself.  You are feeding me.  I sharpen your knives in the kitchen.  From the top of my throat toward deep in my belly is an acidic ruin caused by far too many liters of hard alcohol in far too much volume, too often, for too many hours of too many days over too many years to not be transforming my internal landscape into a ravaged terrain of destruction.  So though I’m unable to breathe, speak, lie down, or work without unignorable hurt, I am still useful.  I am sharpening your knives in your modest kitchen.  I am reading and writing sentences.  I am trying to keep myself from you.  You are preparing a meal for us, and I find it so difficult to stay away from you – to not breathe at your ear, kiss or nibble your neck, grasp at your bottom, finger your elbows, hover, caress, overwhelm.

Boundaries are reduced in mist and wind.  In motion it can be hard to tell where the lines that mark objects begin or end.  In cloaks of obscurity finding shapes or sounds, edges or entries, can be, well, con-fusing (over-mixed, blended, woven)… as perhaps any “thing” we try to think apart ‘in fact’ always is… “inscrutable,” “indivisible,” “unclear.”

If you extricate the ginger from the garlic from the cabbage from the chicken from the oil, the rice, the salt, the pepper, the lime and ancho, the butter, the liquids and oxygens, thicknesses and scents… where is the meal?  If you separate “me” out from “world,” relations, surround (like a theory, a concept, a logic…) how might I then live, or “be” what you presume me to be?  I will not, cannot, am not (removed from my surround) and so it goes… limbs and flesh and organs… dissect… to cells and fluids, molecules and motions, viscosity and energy… to atoms… to subatomic ‘particles’ and/or ‘waves’ – and at each dismantle you will have lost the entity you proposed or pursued.

Division does not equal.

You’ve quoted out of context – neither copied, reproduced, nor plagiarized.  Simply failed.  Missed.  Lost.

The burning rot, corrosive erosion of my body by the maladies of my preferences, pleasures, and habits…

…erasure of letters, terms, phrases, meanings…

…excision and surgery, atopic autopsying of…

…are things already dead, deceased once de-cised, as ‘identifiable portions or pieces, ‘things'”?

These written marks with definable shapes and spaces… yet if disjoined… no sense can be had…

What might “it,” “I,” be… apart-from?

I lay on a ground I cannot stand up without, cannot jump, move, fly or float away without…

I address you – impossibly – unless we’re inseparable… otherwise address and interaction cannot…

The gesture recognizes the necessary collusion as a dream of a fictive repartee, a figurative gap which – if there really were a break or breach – would have no effect or recognition – no reach, no contact…

Relation is repetition of conjoinment, actions without function if connectedness is not always already…

…as if drawing attention toward redundancy.

And so we kiss, we eat, we call out, we listen, as repercussions of contact… reassurances of inseparability.  You reach for your phone, I fall to sleep, unable to be undone or we would not be able to know

 

You. There. You. Here.

A gold, glaring like sunlight, like foil paper,

glints out of the hands, gathered to plead,

like tears with their measure of salt, gleaming

an eye, like the viscous reflecting residue

of pleasure – piss, blood, the living sweats

and leaks, we run, we water the dying.

.

You there.  You.  There.

Far cries (moans, wails, echoes) from here.

You here.  You.  Here.

Murmurs, whispers, gasps, and laughter.

Breath upon an ear.

.

Blue radiance from the heart, red running out the vein.

The wheeze that squelches exhale.

Stuttered stumble – each mistake…the trial being

to sketch, to trace, erase.

Once we waved at one another.

Each goodbye a beckon.

And all digress.

.

Too often, once more… for Thucydides…

.

Feathers, flowers, for Filbert,

little donkey he must be,

ass-braying poems – silt and muck of muddle,

collecting stones and eyes and sunsets,

almost any gaze.  Almost an acknowledgment.

To be.  For.  Anyonething.  Anywhere.

Once necessary.  Once.

.

And then more…

FlowerFilbertAssImage

for LMK: Living Mitigates Knowing: the Sirens’ Song

Birdcall.

Morning.

Activity-signal.

 

Somewhere day arrives.

 

We are in bed.

Day neither comes nor goes.

Neither night.

 

We inhabit a single chair.

A reciprocal rebellion.

Atemporal, atopos.

 

The other.

The relation.

The kiss

 

that undoes the you, the me,

joining any separation

as touch

 

along with bodies of skin,

skinned together,

indeterminable

 

without one, another

within, without each –

a combinatory beast

 

where components are absent,

extended, present-ly,

be-coming

 

birdcalls and signals

dependent on immanent surrounds;

nothing undone,

 

anything in their crafty work

and wrestling,

Eriegnis, evental –

 

a pleasure and desire

formulating forms

without priors –

 

echoed and originary;

unpredictable, unknown;

tandem happenings

 

we sometimes describe

 

as love.

Ways of Naysaying

It was funny how she, how I, refused, declining enticing invitations of love.  Once.

Then again.  Or not.

Still, it happens, rejected or otherwise.  Naysaying, that is.

Negotiations.

Strange relations.  Using yes for no, and their returns and variations.

She says no though.  I did.

It eventuates, seemingly regardless of our answers.

Check boxes.  Lists.  Identities.  Likert-scales of experiencing.

Mouths inclining.  Decline.  A trajectory of eyes.  Reclining seduction.

I decided not to go along.  (Where do we go instead?  Who goes?  When?).  Each denial an assent.

What did the trees refuse?  What was the grass fighting, then?  The clouds?  I watched… she observed birds.

The dancers’ bodies.  A dismissal of space.  The removal of sound.  Absent silences.

Where was she?  I?

We said no.

Do words incline or recline for us?  What of the ear, the eye?

Still I smelled her.

“I love,” I thought, “I cannot love.  I can not.”  She declines.

These are the ways of naysaying, all our doubled negatives, equaling… what, exactly?

I love her.  I can not.  She won’t.  Will not.  Negativity in a vacuum.  Apparatus.

The squirrel upside down, above the lawn, on the long tree limb.  What is it denying?  And where is the use of speech?

We cried out, decrying.  (What could that mean?  That seems always in question).

I asked Beckett and Blanchot.  They each said that she said “no.”

Apparently, she says “no.”  “I’d really like to, but can not, must not,” i.e. “no.”

It rings out, like bells – so radiant, so silent, such dissipation.  Such temporal hazard and warning.

Something refuses the air.

I remember.  She traces back.  What means “over”?

Sound refusing silence.  The first.  The second.  The next.

What is “last”?

She says no.

I recall dreams from time to time.  Unable.

Something may have been said.

Expectation

“Whether it makes any difference what you say – whether there is any point in it anyway; whether there is any point in saying anything anyway.”

– Rush Rhees, Wittgenstein & the possibility of discourse

It was the mystery that found us, all the unknown buried beneath and beyond.

She said to me, or rather she offered her hand, or rather we made eye contact, well, she greeted me and held out her hand and we looked at or into one another’s faces.  Just the surface of the ocean.  Seas and skies are larger than our imagining.

Say skin, language, thought, or feeling are flexible bordering insides and outsides, contained and beyond.  Something like that I thought, unknowingly.

He spoke to me, then hugged me, with an asking.  I couldn’t know the question, but I understood the words.  We seemed friendly and respectfully embraced, hesitant and expressive at once.  There’s a cliff at the end of the trail.  Sometimes I don’t remember.

Sharp curves on roads in mountainous terrain.  That sort of thing, voids that look empty but allow plummet.

And whether it makes any difference, she said.

Difference is made, apparently.

Mother used to tell me, what was it?  Her voices are clear, kind of, almost, but the words are lost in others.  Deep waves are like that, it seems; hard to follow or find, prominent and obvious while rocking the boat, regardless the size.  Clouds.  Wind makes little sense of skies.  Everything is out there.

Inside, it’s raining.

I was asked for a cigarette and large trees moved above rooftops.  She offered her hand the way he hugs me, my son playing music on the piano while a cat escapes and someone’s doing homework.  They say the ground goes deeply down beneath us, compiled by potential millennia.  Nobody knows, though we have tools to measure by.  Whatever those tools measure.

I remember first times.  Every time.  Only it’s perplexing that they’re exactly the same.

Does anything repeat?

Father got on me again about irresponsibilities, my dreaminess.  If only I’d been military I’d be disciplined.  Different.  She offered her hand plus an ankle, a hip, a breast, a womb.  I’d have values. The crook of a knee, a neckline.  Take responsibility.  He wanted it in my mouth – that feels best, he said.

What do I know?

Surfaces of oceans.

She stops and reads books.  I do.  There is music and a din of dialogue.  Raucous.  Discomfort.  Anxiety is familiar, always the first time again.

I am afraid.  Usually.  Deep water disturbs me.  No one knows.  Many are afraid of flying.

Crying is its own thing.  How is an ocean made?  I won’t succeed.

Whether it makes any difference – saying anything anyway.  Someone speaks at me.  Eyes meet.  A brush of lips.  A grasp of hand.  What is the question?  Skies and oceans.  Earth’s depths.  What do I understand?  Always ending begins, beginnings.  What ends.  What has no end?  It begins.  Again.  Always first times.  Nothing.

Her breath tastes good, inhaled.  His muscle.  Seawater burn.  Heartloss.  So much fresh air.  The turn is sharp.

Saying anything anyway: the point is whether, weather, difference…its repetition.

The how and why of her.  Of him.  Of it and other.

There I must have been when I saw her or felt it or once again the beginnings.  Once again the first time.  Always again.  Begin.  While ending.  While ends.

He said so – whether there is any point in saying anything.  He said what felt best when he hugged me, kindly.

She offered.  Someone asked for something.  Like surfaces on oceans.  Horizon lines.  The ground beneath our feet, beneath that.  Differences.  The above.  I cut my skin.