the songs i do not know (iii)

Tell me the songs you don’t know

Dan Beachy-Quick, Of Silence and Song

Light…makes some things seen, makes some things invisible


iii. inside the other


i walked

caves, hollows, holes

reaching in

wondering, wandering,




in whom?

this forest-stream-mountain


cloud or animal


perhaps kind





eye, crotch, finger, part

leg, mouth, buttocks, cleave


in prayer

darklight arithmetic

and and and




a line


an happening

or even


what is called



what feels like

entering, entrance





to the opening


i walked

in prayer






to answer




(“Tell me,” she said)

of songs

you do

not know

(“i don’t,” i said

i do





where now


The Songs I Do Not Know (1)

“Tell me the songs you don’t know.”

Dan Beachy-Quick, Of Silence and Song

“–knowledge is made by oblivion.”

Sir Thomas Browne, in B-Q, Silence & Song

clips, or snippets,

the known as partial



the experienced


hymning (nearly celebrating)

its reverse –



i didn’t know

the sounds of

as they were

always changing –

ever never


so i made noise

my shapes

transparently novel (novice)


framing, marking, visibling

all i do not know –

every word an icon


all it’s not







Clarity of





thus every song i sing

i sing of what i do not know

or hear or dream or feel

i think

but do i tell of songs

i do not know

or sing not knowing?


would i recognize



do i?



it’s hard to tell

meaningful questions

from questioned





her eyes

the water




or passion


not known

i sing.

Accidents changing our lives

And how “by accident” it all turns out to be, to seem.  When impossible to parse the “whys” and details.  Circumstancing great scales of complexity.

*Why that was the season, the night, the event, some almost-invitation, I was compelled, felt a should in my organs and limbs, an unreasonable reason or needling urge-fit lasting just long enough, despite all of my fight and resistance, attempts at desistance, assailing with vodka and fears, yet I made myself go, or uncannily managed it, testing a public event… …and there YOU.

*Why today, remote reference occurs, through a link, through bibliography of an article mentioned in a webinar, as an aside, distant source, finally triggering [how was I free of obligation, conversation, some due project?] memory, intrigue and drive, a cumulative motive to step out and climb stairs, find LOC Hs, glance up (searching Garfinkel, his Relations in Public) and catch sight of Sarraute, her Uses of Speech, slender and black and pre-unknown to me, on a shelf up above and reach up and retrieve it and read it and breathlessly change…

Only so many persons and books after whom one is never the same (yes, that’s arguable), but those moments you know it somehow, at first sight, as it happens, within during, something you only can say is “profound” and “uncanny,”  inexplicably so, and indelible – beyond which no returning – and it’s you and this book among others

When we cannot describe, explicate…

And we wonder and shudder…


And we cannot remain…


“Once-occurrent uniqueness or singularity cannot be thought of,

it can only be participatively experienced or lived through.”

-Mikhail Bakhtin-

Writing: Impetus



It’s hypnotic.  Illogic.  You may recall genetic components – a sentiment, experience, curiosity or sensation…the fabrication begins its own spells.  That plane where you drift from expression or fractaling inquiry toward Medium.  When plot is played out and the voices keep talking.  Or some other member begs a word.

You are no longer quite “author.”  When it begins I’m usually puzzled or amazed.  A vague and shifty core obsesses and eludes me.  I ponder awhile, do research, spawn a dialogue or few with available others…but eventually turn to writing.  A word inscribed in secret not only leads to more, but ricochets through spacetime like a pinball.  The versions of the brain call out over the callosum:  “Felt anything like this before?  Have we had an experience that resonates?” / and / “Say – it seems I’m in the midst of something – check it out!  Any words in your concordance for such as this?”  To and fro – attemps to signify and symbolize, reify, rectify, making truce with our immersion.

The “language drill.”  As it burrows metaphor, it fragments and splinters dust around the edges.  Retrieving as it leads.  Recalling through invention.  I use my handwriting to find out.   To find out.  Searching something, spelunking expeditions, a nettling curiosity blind-feeling hunches and perceptions.  Pulling them towards words in attempts to trick them into trap.  Building tunnels, margins, stairwells to aim the lights at.  As if  broad enough term-corrals might lasso and then spiral, slowly cinching it round, whatever “it” is.

But whoa then, hold on!  Once a breadcrumb trail’s discerned, it forges.  Makes its rhinoceric way in accrual and erasure.  Constructing as you follow, conundrum’d and deleting.  A word – and sources cling like filaments.  None of them accurate and all informing.  History, culture – traditions.  Intimate pain and joy.  Perception, conception and query.  Discovering bewilderment.  Creating the unsaid.

Victim and perpetrator both, you, author, artist, song.  Skewing and distorting in equal measures.  Changing as you change it.  This is the making.  The being-made.  Creator and created both.  The artist in her medium.

There is no “having done.”  Failure or not, it virals and contaminates.  The path is incompletion.  “The Artist’s Way…”  Never through, until it’s through with you, coincident with a life.

Who do we say that we are?

exploring mystery




Waking the Invisible…with Jack Gilbert

Waking at Night

The blue river is gray at morning

and evening.  There is twilight

at dawn and dusk.  I lie in the dark

wondering if this quiet in me now

is a beginning or an end.


Cherishing What Isn’t

Ah, you three women whom I have loved in this

long life, along with the few others.

And the four I may have loved, or stopped short

of loving.  I wander through these woods

making songs of you.  Some of regret, some

of longing, and a terrible one of death.

I carry the privacy of your bodies

and hearts in me.  The shameful ardor

and the shameless intimacy, the secret kinds

of happiness and the walled-up childhoods.

I carol loudly of you among trees emptied

of winter and rejoice quietly in summer.

A score of women if you count love both large

and small, real ones that were brief

and those that lasted.  Gentle love and some

almost like an animal with its prey.

What is left is what’s alive in me.  The failing

of your beauty and its remaining.

You are like countries in which my love

took place.  Like a bell in the trees

that makes your music in each wind that moves.

A music composed of what you have forgotten.

That will end with my ending.


Suddenly Adult

The train’s stopping wakes me.

Weeds in the gully are white

with the year’s first snow.

A lighted train goes

slowly past absolutely empty.

Also going to Fukuoka.

I feel around in myself

to see if I mind.  Maybe

I am lonely.  It is hard

to know.  It could be

hidden in familiarity.


To Know the Invisible

The Americans tried and tried to see

the invisible Indians in the deeper jungle

of Brazil.  They waited for months,

maybe for years.  Until a knife and a pot

disappeared.  They put out other things

and some of those vanished.  Then one morning

there was a jungle offering sitting on the ground.

Gradually they began to know the invisible

by the jungle’s choices.  Even when nothing

replaced the gifts, it was a kind of seeing.

Like the woman you camp outside of, at the five portals.

Attending the conduits that tunnel from the apparatus

down to the capital of her.  Through the body

and its weather, to the mind and heart, to the spirit

beyond.  To the mystery.  And gradually to the ghosts

coming and leaving.  To the difference between

the nightingale and the Japanese nightingale

which is not a nightingale.  Getting lost in the treachery

of language, waylaid by the rain dancing its pavane

in the bruised light of winter afternoons.

By the flesh, luminous and transparent in the silent

clearing of her.  Love as two spirits flickering

at the edge of meeting.  An apartment on the third

floor without an elevator, white walls and almost

no furniture.  Water seen through pine trees.

Love like the smell of basil.  Richness beyond

anyone’s ability to cope with.  The way love is after fifty.

– Jack Gilbert, The Dance Most of All

Jack Gilbert


The Heart and its Branches

“I do not want to know about the human heart.  I do not desire to speak at all about those indwelling, intimate reaches of the heart in which anguish is an undiminishing personal interrogation, much less to analytically enfetter those reaches.

I have the sense, the good sense, the decency, to have nothing to say.”

“Sick of all the you be’s?  Well, what do you say, you be you and I’ll be me?  What do you say?  We can fall asleep in a room full of the snoring dead.  We can sleep while an old woman twangs away on a bad piano while rain keeps time in the empty street.  We can listen to and count the closings of a child’s fist as he tries to catch a fruit fly.  We can listen to the whistling of the bombs.  We can listen to each other.

I do not want to know about the human heart.”

“I am not a man of science.  I am not proficient in any branch of nature study.  I do not know the difference between an amphibian and a reptile.  I have no yearning for hard knowledge about the hard world.  And yet I have no affinity for anything spiritual.  In fact, I have a pronounced, conspicuous, and striking absence of an affinity for anything spiritual.

I know but one hard thing about the hard world and it is this:  from the sum of all theories, as arranged in accordance with ascertained facts, we make a few assumptions, that we have actually ascertained facts, that we are actually here to ascertain them, and that there is actually a here.”

-Percival Everett-


quick quip for Friday Fictioneers

Copyright-Renee Homan Heath

Not as if we’ve much choice.  Forward?  Back?  If we could see a little further, higher, or what might be underneath.  There’s a reason we’re heading this direction, away from what’s behind, but still.  We needed water, we’re given sand.  Needing shelter, we find a beach.  It won’t do to stop here, but where do we go?  Carrying on is unknowing, all the same to me, and yet.  Something’s bound to open up, if we could locate a horizon.  You go on ahead, I’m surely unfit to lead.  Why does it always seem like this?

N Filbert 2013

Found Objects

Greetings all – squishing this in before the homework hits.  As always I highly encourage any and all of you creatives out there to take these generous prompts and craft away, as exercise or effort – The Friday Fictioneers weekly wonderful co-creativity :

Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Look, the details don’t matter, okay?  It happened, and here’s the proof, and now nothing will ever be the same.”

“As if it were.  As if things could change like that – all over and immediate.  How do we even know what from this collage?”

“Jesus Ralph!  They’re connected by the photograph!  Look!”

“As if the image were the thing itself.  C’mon Rachel, really?”

“God dad!  It’s grandpa, a menorah, a dial-up and some crayons – how obvious does it have to be?”

“I’m gonna need something more than a sign Rachel, something more than a trick of the light.”

N Filbert 2013