Monday, August 1, 2011

Reality Is A Cobra In A Magician's Bag

I like crowded restaurants where plates and silverware clatter and different conversations go on simultaneously at all the tables, voices meshing and sewing and interweaving. Looms of sound and image. Keep your sleeves off the table there’s bound to be goop or syrup. Waiters and waitresses are all busy. It is a marvel how they remember what plate goes to which person. The patience is monumental. Flavors search for you as you search for flavors.

I turn to answer the glass, the structure of things. The light that separates night from day, day from night, and the light in between. The twilight light. Half light. Light of reminiscence. Reflection. Moisture. Coiled hose, still dripping. The strange silence amid the tangle of plants.

Orchids tremble in the smell of dirt. The greenhouse humidity brings tears of sweat to the skin of men with the sea in their eyes.

The words drink themselves drunk, until there is history. Buffalo graze on South Dakota hills. The morning has a girth and heft, it has been hammered together in a valley of sweating gods. The day is bronze. Our effort, as artists, is to make the invisible visible. Piebald, slalom, and facet. Robin Blaser bends over the steering wheel, thinking of the miracles of Mary in Egypt.

What do you call the craft of the poet? How does a poet barter for food? What form of work is it to build a house of words? For what flowers? What African birds? What new Picasso knocks at the door of the new? What stream of words turn to limestone and grow hungry for heft? Sometimes the river finds itself in a kitchen sink. There is power in walking. There is a wilderness in words. You can go anywhere. Reality is a cobra in a magician’s bag.

Linger there in the trees and listen to the birds. Robins, sparrows, jays. Bobolinks, flickers, cedar waxwings. The cliffs are vertiginous. Nothing represents anything. Each thing is solidly its own thing. Unique. Rough. Smooth. Edged. Round. We are in the realm of the immediate. A woman gazes out of the window. Someone across the street is sawing and hammering. The city is the human grasp. Property is the blade of exclusion. There is a large, interior war in everyone. The battle for autonomy. Freedom from the needs of the body and its insane desires.

Summer warms the wood of the boardwalk. Abstractions kill the clouds. The clouds kill abstractions. No ideas but in things. No prawns but on prongs. Everything is in flux. Powerful flux. Even flux is in flux. Flux would make a good name for a laundry detergent. Churn of water and clothes and suds. The noise of machines. The punch of the real. Designs hammered into leather. Thesis flies when the tongue wags. Have you ever seen a tongue wag? No, but I have seen a thesis fly. Flutter in words and hover over a sheet of paper like an hallucination of animals. Animals that appear hungry. Hungry for expression. Hungry for meat. The expression of meat in hooves and legs and muscle and blood.

Images on a cavern wall. A sacred subterranean world of stalagmites and stalactites and dripping limestone columns and places were the skulls and bones of Leviathan mammals repose in the soft cool dust of eternity.

Paradigms of stone, beautiful asymmetries, curves, voluptuous lines adjusting with mastery and grace to the incongruities of stone, horses stampeding Paleolithic plains. The air is charged. Dragonflies hum over lava beds. Obsidian bubbles. Bare feet. Fires in pools of water. There is no point. Nothing with a point. The mind is a ship sailing insoluble water. Waves are ovations, water applauding the infinite horizon. There is a railroad underwater. We can hear it gurgle.

My words are contrary to the world. My words run wild among olives, participles tart and luminous. The sun is a bomb of continuous explosion. Explosions of gold that drool warmth among the bones. That lick the skin until it is dark. Nerval dreams in a forest where the trees eat the light and birds in their parliaments chatter until the sun drops.

Poke the fire. The flames curl around the wood. Flames from the words squeezed until the juice of meaning dribbles on paper. All shook up. Please don’t step on my blue suede shoes. The effervescent hair of the trees in the emerging wind is a mark of ablution. Sandstone indicates the passage of spirit.

Capitalism is dying. The dollar is losing its value. People are buying gold like crazy. The flow of money has stopped. The market is black and gangrenous. I wear whatever is tangible. These are tangible years. These are empirical years. Time itself has become obsolete. Talk is nimble in the bars where dissolution grows ripe and the faces are wooden and women cover their bodies in tattoos. An alligator rides a woman’s bicep. The sheen of the bar reveals the grain of mahogany. A brook ripples through a man’s mind.

Let’s all yell French ocher! French ocher! French ocher! at the dump. Morality is a thing of the past. The halcyon past. It’s been ripped to shreds. It’s worthless. It’s taking up room. Valuable room. Box it. Put it in the attic. Build a birdhouse. Make it out of clay. Shoot the rain. Shoot it with a machine gun. .50 caliber Browning. With butterfly bullets and the brain of a moose.

If you’re looking for coherence you should visit the ocean. There is wisdom in the ocean. The wisdom of salt. The wisdom of depth. The wisdom of wave and wind and trough and crest. Essence and flight and hymn and marrow. Push and pull. Scurry and lark. Watch those waves swell, grow higher, crest, and curl, and crash into the sand. The way the water murmurs and whispers as it moves up the sand, then pulls back, revealing bubbles, little holes and places where the sand puckers, reflects the clouds until it dries.

The sky is butter at sunset. The blue of the sky darkens into vermilion and solferino. Star by star glimmers into incident scintillation. The water comes in again, slaps itself down, and says listen, listen to this eagerness, this eagerness to engulf. To seduce. To bring you into my depths, where it is dark and silent at the bottom. Where walls of rock glide with the smoothness of breath into an abyss of lambent apparitions. Where Neptune sits on a coral throne, and the light turns blue as the language of drifting souls. Where quarts of eye and spine move in the lassitude of reverie. Where idioms of being fold into light. And the ink of eternity trembles on the verge of language.

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