Wednesday, August 31, 2022

At the Field's Edge

Not another word about kenosis! I dream of her and the next day she appears at work and we walk together outside talking about what is north.

Children playing near the water, how their energy - and the energy of the world - changes accordingly. Burning casinos. 

The weathered faces of barns that may not survive me. I would like to tell you what I have learned about forgiveness but what I have learned about forgiveness is that it doesn't need to be explained. 

After projection, reflection. I ask Chrisoula how she would describe our sex life, she is reading Of Mice and Men for the forty-seventh time since we met, her favorite book ever, "it's nice," she says without looking up. 

Parking the truck at the field's edge, laying blankets in the back, cooler full of cheap beer, stars flickering at the treeline, this too was growing up. A place for horses, i.e., my heart.

Clouds pass, they remind me of dogs passing. I remember bucketing out the basement, which storm was it, up all night in late winter, cold and wet, it had to be done, sometimes it doesn't matter what you want. 

Two a.m., can't sleep, head so bad even blinking hurts, is this what you wanted. I have been to Paris, I have been to Dublin, and the Heath Fair is better than both. 

Remembering whisky shots, Burlington Vermont full of rain, losing the argument, forgetting the argument. Time requires a body, as does an orgasm, but intelligence scaffolds differently.

The other night I confused the twenty sentences with fiction, walked around the house thinking, "it's a novel - I didn't know that - it's a novel," then woke up with these poems, thank Christ.

Hot peas with freshly-ground pepper, remember? Lifting you with my tongue - this sentence - into the heavens.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Lines I Draw

Purple clover, dark against the burnt grass of late summer. I have these hands, they are open as in prayer, and empty as befits my new calling. 

What happened to the hot dog, how did it become so pedestrian? Beautiful violent men I have known.

Wind blows, the maple leaves turn upside down, silver in afternoon light. We got carried away with burying the dead, let's not kid ourselves.

Whistling. Dragonflies above the garden.

Jesus visits to say goodbye, thank me for listening, ask if there's anything else. The rules we keep around eating together, do you notice them, do you notice what gives rise to them. 

Talking to a woman who is no longer here, happily driving between mountains, no longer alone forever. Shall we listen to the rain together.

The joy of recognizing kin. Holiness forgets nothing because there is nothing to forget.

Combing through old photo albums, taking pictures of the dogs, something wild in me insisting that the past be liberated from images. Naked now is close to what.

Counting flowers in the meadow.  Chrisoula and I meet behind the church, same as always, she wears flowers and bracelets, studies carefully the lines I draw in the dust, she tells me what I mean.

There were other paths once, there are not now. He weeps often in the afterlife, he cannot bear his failure to repent, I cannot write this sentence in a way that will help him, will you.

Monday, August 29, 2022

So Near I Cannot Breathe

Moonlight on the living room floor. Three a.m., coughing through the rosary prayer. Thunderheads bunching near the valley's crest. Neither this nor any other horizon.

The sentence as a way of learning how to see. Old-time tractors. Gathering near the fire pit at dusk, horses curious, beer wedged between Tom's knees tuning his mandolin, Chrisoula holding a joint to my lips while I stir the flames, moon rising. In those days we carried knives everywhere, you never knew.

The silver belly of dead trout just before they are gutted. I was not allowed to approach horses, nobody wants to talk about this, maybe it was a dream. Writing at the fair the day before it opens, Fionnghuala working on her entries. Light winds, first maples changing, may I never forget to be grateful.

I studied fatherhood a long time before that door actually opened. Plans to raise gladioli and hyancinths next spring, everybody confused because you can't eat them, but the bees can, and the hummingbirds. What we cannot recognize from any distance. Fumbling through the dialogue as usual.

She sits on the bed's edge, back to me, so near I cannot breathe. Horse-drawn. The well was up from the river, there were willow trees in the distance, the conversation ran to hard extremes. Being out of time at last. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

My Skin is Language

On the day I married her it did not rain. Mother Octopus, teach me again the way of the tentacled. Morning sun, do you see how your body is merely the world.

Let us go all the way through the keyhole. Giving head to strangers in cars, trangressing in an effort to drive away love, and love not going anywhere. The prism, the promise, the praxis.

Men walking past the cathedral hefting sheaves of wheat. Jasper reminds me that mathematical formulas don't have to be executed, i.e., there is a stillness that does not submit to process.

Living in suffering happily. Arguments regarding the suit of swords which never land well. Love is a cosmos for which desire is a kind of treasure map.

Driving alone across the river, may I never not be the father she needs. A spiritual practice that lately focuses on folding and re-folding literally everything - quilts, her shirt, notes from last year's poems. Capitalism is a form of hunger.

Can you name everything the river took. Falling backwards. At night I sit quietly in the living room and pray, moonlight gliding across the floor towards me.

You want to get naked with me but sister my skin is language, when am I not in your mouth. The Man without Shoes is a servant of history, history is method of assessing memory, and memory begins when we take death literally.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Kin to Lichen and Microbes

We who take it.

Coming back from the temple, a survivor.

She does not speak, she gestures, and it doesn't matter anyway, you do what she says you do, you get on your knees, you never leave your knees.

Great-grandfather (whose face is being eaten by the Chthonic One) begs for a chance to say "no you do not have permission to play in the park" and the hurricane laughs and laughs.

Ashes swirling away in the sea, may we take nothing else for granted.

First time I ate pussy I tasted blood, knew I was home, haven't been off my knees since.

Yeah you don't like it, I get it, I don't really like it either but why don't you like it, that's the question.

Long stretches of highway made bearable by rosary prayers.

Thought I would die, didn't die, now what.

Pissing outside at midnight, visiting the horses, listening to the river under starlight: this this.

I feel sorry for the soldiers who crucified Jesus, I would take them in my arms if I could, would go into hell with them if I could, be a dog for them if I could, a dog in a ring of Heavens.

Nobody leaves the jail cell until we all leave the jail cell, got it?

She reminds me I am kin to lichen and microbes, She urges me to let the whole yard go to violets and bracken, She says help the groundhogs dig their holes, and I listen to Her, I listen. 

This sentence is for the luminous bell-ringer, may we both go unhealed no more forever.  

Something Christmas-y in me.

Goddess of Bees, this weight on my chest, this gallows I am never finished building, this rainy quartz I never quite get around to swallowing.

Fuck or else.

In my mind I am still in Vermont, Massachusetts is a bad dream from which I am awakening, and then I wake up in Massachusetts and turn north, begin again, is this what you wanted.

This family church in which more than once I prayed against my own interests.

It took her a long time to die, a terribly long time, we have to go into this, Dad is it okay now I am going into this. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Like a Father

This one is for you, Goddess of Bees, you in whom I live a while and die.

Folded sweaters on the chair beside the bed.

How lost the widower looked in the take-it-or-leave-it shed this morning, and how I said nothing, didn't even meet his eyes. 

You want more skulls, we want more war.

Forces at work transcending our dim perception, decimating our limited understanding. 

Writing in the side yard, wishing there were a way to share with you this breeze moving wild morning glories back and forth across the south-facing wall of the barn.

Resting my head on the blind horse's neck after midnight, he bears my grief like a father, together we are what make starlight possible.

When I stumbled drunk around Boston looking for fights.

You are gone and with you goes green (but not yet blue).

Giving head to strangers, never looking up, not caring, my mouth sinning to make sin more real for all of us.

Teeth made of concrete, fingers down to the bone.

Rain on the harbor, I thought I wanted to die but I just wanted to feel differently.

"You need eyes to care about dice" is a lie.

Still prefer to piss outside, moonlight on my one and only cock.

Oh great-grandfather I will go kneel by the dread whirlpool now, I will hold her anger for you, I will reach the terrible fear and study with her a way beyond it.

If you read this, write to me, I am dying of loneliness and I cannot finish the sentence alone.

Being held to be beaten, surrendering to it, asking for it even, your willingness taking something away from the beating that makes them beat you even harder, but still.  

Fucks I would take back but can't. 

Kicking the dead.

Dead.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Arguments and Prayers

Burnt grass. I will never deny you.

No more suffering, no more confusion. In dreams, all fear magnifies.

The groove we are, the rhythm. Lord let me see snow fall one more time.

Mourning cardinals before they are gone. Sheets on the clothesline riffled by wind. 

Why is it so hard to meet for coffee? The hemlocks appear at dawn, brush off all my arguments and prayers.

Remind me again where and how Elijah heard the voice of God. This desert is not forever. 

Thanks Ron Atkinson! He asks if I am ready to apologize, this man who did more than anyone - including me - to end the marriage.

Trout not taking the bait, may I never forget to be grateful. Sunlight on the lake, this gift given to the ancestors who are as tired of haunting me as I am of being haunted.

Making peace with what refuses to make peace with us. Before Jesus, John's head on a platter.

How quiet one becomes before Georgia O'Keeffe's work, how still. Great-grandfather it's okay, you can put her shoes down, I will help you let them go, I was made this way to help you let them go.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The Wrong Bed in the Wrong City

We can start by telling each other what our favorite poem is and why.

Doors open, take my hand.

Wind blows through the valley, something howls in the hills across the river, my heart vacates my body, leaving a little note that reads "I was never yours."

We who drift, we who forget we drift, we who wake up in the wrong bed in the wrong city, wondering are we out of time.

Validate the other, nothing else matters.

Making signs for the march.

Under stars with the blind horse in order to learn how to see.

We who were against so much we forget everything good, we forgot how to be for.

The butterflies speak to me, I wish I could explain to you how this is so, it's the only thing that matters now.

Jasper says quietly, it may always hurt, you must prepare yourself.

Debord's point that tourism - "human circulation packaged for consumption, a by-product of the circulation of commodities" - was always merely "the opportunity to go and see what has been banalized."

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

A way of talking about Emily Dickinson that always leaves me wanting to give somebody - anybody - head

Oh so now you want to talk about contemplative prayer.

"Dance the day away."

You cannot take seriously the Sermon the Mount unless you are willing - literally - to die. 

Surrogate victims, our favorite role.

So the sacred has left us, so what, it was always just a finger pointing at the moon, and the moon has not left us, just look.

What is difficult, dangerous, deferential, what is delicious.

Punishment is not real but Christ how much suffering it took to learn this.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Void with a Good Woman

How did you learn you were different?

Miles to go indeed.

I wake before the sun is up, make coffee, go to the hayloft and sit quietly in darkness with the one who is everywhere.

John Bell, my god.

Ten years writing haiku by hand in purple ink now how much do you love me.

We cannot change what we feel, this is a gift not a curse.

A spiritual classroom, the price of admission to which was either one hand or both eyes, guess what I chose.

Deep down - no matter what else we name it, no matter what context we put it in - the reason I am writing and you are reading is that we are lonely and we are not yet ready to be whatever is not lonely.

The thief I am, the liar I am, the lover I am.

Do you remember making love against the door in my grandmother's house, do you remember biting my neck, do you remember - how could you remember - how I could not sleep that night (was this when the insomnia began) and do you remember - you must remember - breaking up on the long drive back to Vermont.

We are not alone when we dance, even when we dance alone.

Sunlight on the last of the violets, may I forget everything, may I learn how to.

Notice the ones in your living who personify ideals you admire - perhaps long for - and modify your living according. 

I praised his kindness - his clear intention with respect to extending it - and he bowed a little, he smiled a little.

Many revolutions are yet to happen, let's not kid ourselves. 

What does thought want.

It's going to hurt a little but not for long, this was the promise.

Leaning out over the void with a good woman, there is no other way for a man like me. 

The one who is never not naked.

Notice how the horizon is always there - you never reach it - it is always perfectly distant, exactly as if you were creating it, saying to yourself "I need a body and I need a world and both must be comprised of limits."

Monday, August 22, 2022

One More Winter

We are dogs in a ring of Heavens. How quiet the house is when Jeremiah is gone. My voice breaks trying to explain why even though I've left the Catholic church I am still grateful for it. Where are you safest and other nontrivial questions.

Hanging laundry. The dining room table fills with jars of dilly beans, corn relish and pickles. You cannot effectively kiss when you are angry, think on this when you are trying to understand that "I am not a body." Folding blankets and quilts for the peace of it, being that man, unapologetically.

She touches my shoulder with three fingers as she passes, and she is briefly then the Goddess Whose name we do not say aloud, and my shoulder fills with blue light, and an ocean opens in the part of my chest I call "heart." Can you not. We grill eggplant and red peppers outside, sun setting, sheep calling, and it is enough, it is sufficient, it is praise unto the Lord our God. We make love outside near the apple trees, we laugh arguing over who gets to be on the bottom, i.e., who gets to star gaze and who gets to gaze at the star-gazer. 

Any object is merely a collection of features noticed by - and organized by - an observer (and an observer is simply a limit on perception). Leftover zucchini pancakes with sour cream, we eat standing in the kitchen, my mind can see nothing but snow, in my heart I am praying God give me at least one more winter. Who is nervous around you, why are they nervous. We who make the moon, we who make the onions, we who make the sea. 

What remains? An aversion to punctuation that is not the crisis we once made it out to be. Popcorn with coriander and garlic powder. Welcome to the difference that does not make a difference, would you like some coffee, would you like to remove your clothes.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Not that Kind of Traveler Anymore

Strangers saying thank you. Let us face the war in us, let us face the pogrom.

Clipping song lyrics to an old music stand I stole back in college. Nothing is lifted like this heart is lifted, this bag of black stones, this sky blue turtle shell no man is allowed to fondle or hit. 

The new therapist smiles, "far be it from you to be dramatic." Icarus leaves the villages for faraway Athens, doesn't actually believe he'll arrive, he's not that kind of traveler anymore.

Three a.m. out back with the horses, star-gazing. Nobody told me it would hurt this bad but they did all say the hurt was necessary.

A story we tell that includes a lot of bells and giving her head on terms and conditions that she sets, which are not negotiable, and which we call Prayer. Rabbits in the clover, no hawk overhead, who feeds when.

I am saying there is no point where all this grounds out and you can plant a flag and say "game over." Studying towering cannabis plants at twilight, both of us surprised to find ourselves here.

Boiling chicken at six a.m., mid-August. Maybe let go of some of this, not for any spiritual reason, not to be religious, just because of what is lightened thereby.

Mirrors are nontrivial aspects of the overarching problem we name "ego." So it's turtles, chalices, frames, narratives, threads, knowings, quilts and ghosts all the way down, good to know.

"Tell me about your writing," no thanks, I don't play that game anymore. Steve Hagen helped me see the value of seeing the lack of value in the nomenclature.

We are Skinner boxes, black boxes, and what helped in the end was understanding sex was a form of communion but not the only or even the best form. Wading into the river, going further than Chrisoula goes in order to remember how to return and stand with her in her garden under the moon with our God, amen. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Time Becomes a Wound

Moonlight over the airport, how did it come to this. Blue heron circling the swamp, settling in the distance between dusky reeds. The arch of my foot, the scar that is my throat.

How a need unmet in time becomes a wound. We shared an ice cream cone on the steps of the old town hall. Peace came but it took a while, there was work to do, there were puzzles to make, there were relationships that had to be taken to the river and released.

What is fair. One becomes resonsible for projection, realizes they are lonely, and starts looking for a bridge. They live now as statues, as characters in a tale they did not know they were telling.

Suffering becomes us. Chrisoula finds me in the hay loft, coffee and writing, rainbows cast by prisms everywhere, and it's hard to say the simple thing, our marriage was always about saying and doing - and sustaining the other in saying and doing - the hard thing, the difficult thing. Roadside chicory and queen anne's lace, may we never forget the body's contingency and thus our shared cause for joy.

Pretending again. Jasper says maybe it's okay it's all about sex, we're monkeys in the end, what's wrong with saying yes a lot. Venus in the sky at dawn, fear coming down the hills like an army, so laying down my arms, opening my arms.

The many meanings of "passing." Messages. Shopping with Fionnghuala is like remembering something I left out in the rain, going out to find it's still there, but washed clean.

Don't look now but the Lover isn't done asserting his prerogative. Nothing moves me like moving in you with you.

Friday, August 19, 2022

A Mouthful of the Apocalypse

I never go away. Sex is hard to see through yet still calls me forth in luminous lovelily ways. Every cup of coffee is a mouthful of the apocalypse.

What we want and get and wish later we had never wanted. Fields of ripe corn along the highway. Prayed and was allowed to pick up the mountain but lost my focus and so wasn't allowed to throw it into the sea, nor to put it down at all: this this.

No to those frames in which kisses are bound by chronology and order. Bitter swallows. It took a long time to see how confused I was. 

Sinnerman. Saving up and other mistakes. Letting Jesus go but grabbing him back, exactly what the early followers could not do. 

There are laws, they are not negotiable, they are totally neutral, there is nothing else to say. Dawn coming down the river towards me in my grief. It's not nothing, it's something but what, or is that a not-helpful question. 

Joe Roberts and his oxen all over again. One weeps before the many butterflies, the impossible beauty, the inevitable deaths. Oh so now you'd like to talk about power.

Waving at her from the grandstand along the old racing track. Everybody's got an angle, just don't let them lose their spark. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Both Incidental and My Own

Weeping quietly for the dead in the arms of one who does not weep for the dead, quietly or otherwise. A music the chickens make, right before the the light changes. Who will play with Judas?

Non-posturing Buddhists. Her letters arrived in unpredictable patterns, there was no mail on Saturday, Friday was feast or famine, exquisite either way. She was angry in ways that I could not face, she loved me in a way she was not interested in facing. 

Losses I am only just now seeing. Cars breaking down are not moral crises, be clear on this. A loneliness I am only just now seeing is both incidental and my own doing.

Can transference be a useful fiction, of course but both parties must be in on the game. Once you understand that sex is about power, everything simplifies. Where is your Christ now, brother?

Bother. Daisies wilting in the back yard under the apple trees, some things you can't save. Oh so this is what you mean by being human.

And: begin. Pellucid light, no birds, a heaviness in the shadows that comes from moisty - mostly lightless - deeps. This prayer you continually fail to interrupt is not as bad as I feared it would be, please don't interrupt.

Beyond father and son, to the mother and then beyond the mother, nor God nor awareness, and not "this: this this" either, but lawfulness and the neutrality that lawfulness brings forth. I mean religiously, in your mouth.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

A Fool but Still

At night I begin to think again about how scared I am of hunger, and wonder if at last I am ready to go into it, if I am ready at last to be the witch.

Butterflies in the garden, bees in the garden, as in the deepest center of me - in the cascades of me - this love.

Always ask, what are you defending.

Closing my eyes, clutching the headboard coming, oh summertime thank you, thank you so much, thank you.

Following Fionnghuala who shops - skillfully studying clothing, fingers trailing through lines of cloth to find the one that works - in a way that I associated with my sisters and mother, i.e. we are never not near family.

Cannabis basically instantiating a kind of insight porn masquerading as spirituality, i.e., fomenting the same separation with a slightly different appearance.

This city stands for angry men.

Don't look now but the marketplace is coming for you.

Take me down to the river, woman, take me down between your thighs to pray.

Loving what is pretty, preferring what I can buy, can own, because it increases the odds I can protect it, but I can't, I never can, who made me this way, broken and too confused to ever heal.

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin.

The whole zombie thing isn't funny by the way, not funny at all.

Buying watermelons, juicing them later to drink with a cold rice and cucumber salad.

Why do you read these sentences.

Going out at midnight, taking my clothes off, dancing in moonlight, really doing this, knowing I am a fool but still, doing this.

Sitting to write in the corner of the couch where I sat last week and got an unanticipated no warning blowjob and this is the sentences I write so yeah, I get it, I'm still just a monkey dreaming of angels.

Oh Randy Rhoads thank you, I did not who I was until I watched you be so pretty and powerful all at once (is this related to your death which left me stupefied for decades). 

Stacking boxes of canning jars, being told how, happy to help, happy to be helping the one I am helping: this this.

The maya today is so fine I don't even remember there is moksha.

To whom I am kin if not you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Again in this Understanding

The smallest detail, like the way you carry a coffee cup to the sink and rinse it, reveals the cosmos. 

The rapture we overlooked.

Stirring the compost a little after dawn, adding lime, a sense of something lost - or gone and never to return yet still known - pervades.

Troubling ourselves out of false peace, seeking instead the deeper peace to which all troubles can be brought and seen anew as not-problems.

Counterargument: thinking well is actually a valuable skill, one we've got to do better with.

What helps you worry, what helps you go beyond worry, you need both.

Divine Cephalopods, brought to this psyche on towering waves of psilocybin and fire, remind me again what it means to be tentacled.

How the ten seconds they waited on the scaffold became an eternity in which the world they helped bring forth - unwittingly, half-assedly, in utter stupefaction - now participates. 

For starters, less parochialism please.

The new therapist laughs, "far be it from you to be dramatic."

We reveal the secret, learn that it wasn't actually a secret, begin again in this understanding of honesty and - by extension - nonviolence. 

Neolithic cults the spirit directed to sip hallucinogens from the hollowed-out skulls of their ancestors, thanks ancestors!

You still think it matters, being expert, being consumed, being constructed. 

Eschew the signifier, what happens.

By afternoon the heat becomes too much, the morning glories wilt, smell of something burning comes down the river, itself a bed of stones not bread. 

Nobody is who they say they are, but that isn't their fault, since saying who we are is in fact the one thing we have been encultured against doing for at least ten thousand years. 

What is not written exists but how.

The seas begin to boil, whales cry for mercy, the garbage of a billion selfish apes catches fire and is visible to denizens of galaxies a thousand light years away. 

Let us pray, now that sex has collapsed into communion, let us pray a lot.

Hawaiian Bobtail Squid, may I not forget you when the first of us leaves.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Desire for the River

How we are in a sense the other's world. A path one follows to a clearing in which one lays down and waits on their lover to find them, no matter how many lifetimes it takes.

Peanut shells in the compost. Imagine two thousand years ago setting out on the sea, being committed to going beyond the sight of land.

A crow on the fallen apple limb I am sculpting into a resting place for corvids, thanks brother. Absolutely leave a note.

Reckoning with what we put off reckoning with. A map on which emptiness figures prominently.

Studying the drafts, never leaving the drafts, writing is rewriting, and you is passing, never to return. Being is plural, stop kidding yourself.

The sky shapes the way we think, at night the sky is full of stars that shape and guide the way we think. The Man Without Shoes has a thing for rocks, has anybody noticed, and has anybody noticed that this youngest daughter did too.

Far away in the forest, the sound of a tree falling. Oh beautiful lichen may I not forget our shared history.

He mentions Gaia and you can feel certain women in the room rise up to kill him. Coffee-flavored kisses.

What is a crisis, what is good work. I spend a long time gazing at the letter - under glass - that Sylvia Plath wrote, just grateful she existed, wondering what she thought of Emily Dickinson (herself encased at that juncture in a kind of glass) - wishing there was a way that so much of what hurts us didn't have to hurt us.

There is no foundation so stop anticipating, stop seeking, stop carrying on! And yet - even now - this desire for the river prevails. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Nothing Inside but the Void

Time to visit the well below the valley, time to go with my woman to the entrance to the Cave of the Heart, time to meet my lover beneath apple trees in August moonlight, time to say to Jesus, "okay, yes, I get it, I will, yes."

Those moans at the end, those little whimpers beginning.

I forgave Dad, it was easy, and he was grateful and I knew then that he had forgiven me too, it was just hard to notice, being so caught up in the Sean narrative.

That look on your face, who is its author.

So much of the Savannah lives in us, you close your eyes sometimes and feel what it felt to be at the beginning, when we were just figuring out holding hands.

Let us not ignore the clitoris nor our ignorance about the clitoris nor our gratitude for the Creator for creating the clitoris.

That which by necessity is unexplored.

Weather aesthetics.

Not forsaken exactly, yet also not bound to coming back whole. 

Eating what does not want to be eaten, welcome to eating.

Beneath the sunflowers, in cool dust, a toad.

Driving east through Ashfield, past a field full of sandhill cranes, and that farm we both like, the one with peach trees up and down the long curving driveway.

Witches are female says language. 

Dreaming of a well-lit Christmas tree, opening the gift beneath it that bears my name, finding nothing inside but the void, and looking up gratefully at the giver only to find she has been eaten by the Goddess of Bees.

We never got around to certain promises you made.

Second or third time I made love to a woman it was on a stairwell - carpeted stairs, after midnight, we were a little drunk and had to whisper, it was an early example of my desire to render location a conflict sex was responsible for overcoming.

Tea with devout gnostics, is there any other hell.

Being cannot be reduced yet is forever in-between - you can say it but when you meet one who knows it - who lives according to the living brought forth thereby - your living will shift in noticeably nuanced ways. 

Even the cosmos are basically a construction we are ill-equipped to evaluate for truthiness.

Late afternoon rain, tomatoes and bread on the back porch, the man I am with the woman who called me out of childhood to this little homestead in this little valley, may I never forget to be grateful.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Living in what is Damaged

Emma Goldman said that "Revolution is but thought carried into action.” Who are you trying to please?

There is an art to living in what is damaged and it doesn't have anything to do with repair. Sad witches leaving the forest for senior living centers in distant and unfamiliar cities.

There are storm clouds in the sky, something must be missing in my heart. A boundary that is mostly vegetative, suggestive, communicative, et cetera. 

Arendt's observation re: the banality of evil coming into focus as an inability to change perspective, and an unwillingness to notice this inability and examine it with others, i.e., we are the problem we're trying to solve. So we made mixed tapes once, so what.

Something about the cost, something about the price. We said goodbye in a parking lot behind the coffee shop, we never spoke again, it's okay but why do I remember it so clearly?

Another little cup of coffee please. The fine line between too rough and just right when it comes to fondling my balls.

Say nothing. Bob Marley's conversion.

Get what right, what are you talking about. We sit for an hour in the back room talking, a lot gets said about something I used to pretend was funny but which is not, being mostly about alcoholism. 

We gave each other head in a meadow surrounded by sheep overlooking Bantry Bay, we both cried a little after, rocking in each other's arms, as if something had at last been abandoned to which we would never return. "Splish splash I forgot about the bath."

I can't take anyone seriously who doesn't own a mirror ball, what the fuck are you doing with your life? Icarus had a gift for abstraction, it got him laid, it worked, but at a late juncture it occurs to him that his Dad knew how to build wings and he doesn't, i.e., Icarus finally asks "what do I know?"

Friday, August 12, 2022

Call Me Lover Again

I am trying to say something about loveliness, maybe I already did, I don't know, I can't say.

We are born over and over, how I wish I could show you this, make it clear for you, you would never call me lover again.

Intentional discord in order to make clear another fullness.

"I was never lost, you were always there."

In my dreams the Chthonic One visits, for once I don't wake up screaming, I understand how to welcome Her now I know the inside of the one who welcomes Her.

They told me to get lost and I did but in another sense they were lost and they sent me out to find the way home and I did.

I mean why leave the microbial at all.

So you are a bell, okay, who rings you, who comes when you ring.

You see, the other thing about heavy metal - often missed - is its religiosity, that too is part of what calls to us. 

Paleolithic skulls cut in ways that make clear they were designed to hang facing forward, thanks ancestors!

I wonder if the women I made love to in Ireland remember making love to me in Ireland and I also wonder if remembering the way I remember is also a kind of making love.

Morning passes writing, may I never forget to be grateful.

Haraway's point that we were never individuals but lichens, and the way in which even that does not go far enough.

Let's you and I burn the Book of Leviticus and fuck under the falling ash.

No more flags, no more codes.

War still, why.

Dead uncles reel through the hay loft trying to reach me through the web of language I've been spitting - I mean spinning - since at least 1983.

Oh hold me tighter, won't you.

Ambrosios Pleiathidis was buried alive, stop pretending the tame demon with which you wrestle isn't a servant of the demons who directed the burying.

This twentieth sentence is dedicated to Emily Dickinson, may I never forget either the bees or the light in which they work.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Bees I did not Know

Oh is it time to atone again?

Holy Octopus, Sacred Cephalopod. 

How at an early age I longed for distortion in music, found it comforting in its fullness, the way it restored something fundamental to the senses, as if raw were better, as if clouded were a better way to see the light. 

What are we learning and what are we doing with our learning. 

There is no end to the layers of the onion, no foundation or stopping point where you can say this: this this: this this.

Men who are skilled at apologies, the problem they are, and how I know this, and how sorry I am.

To whom or to what does the feeling appear?

My tongue in her vagina as far as it will reach, the blindnesses in us, the holy places, and the rapture when we reach them together.

The Man without Shoes realizes he was just deflecting attention from the pilgrimage which he can own now, gaze directly at now, and share now, thanks and praise, alleluia alleluia. 

Excesses we can only undo in dialogue.

Goddess of the Bees, I did not know how close to Her I was.

Perhaps the end has begun, perhaps there are forces at work that transcend our narrow band of perception and understanding. 

Writing in the side yard, thinking in sentences, same old dream, breezes moving pale wild morning glories back and forth along the south-facing wall of the last barn I will ever need.

What Jesus learned and how we are called to apply it in contexts he could not have imagined.

Having once begged both coffee and cigarettes from strangers, having once played for hours on Irish streets just to make enough money to buy fries with gravy for supper.

Please do not assume you know as much about me as _______ does, even she is relatively unenlightened.

Men who murder trees for a living, men who unfairly characterize other men as murderers just for making a living, and men who know - and live according to - an order that undoes this sentence.

The priest I am not, the lawyer I am not, the thief I am not, the lover I am not.

She accepts me broken, she lifts me in pieces above the altar I did not know was an altar (I thought it was a kitchen), and the Goddess she worships consumes me, goodbye.

Elephants mourn their dead: this is all we need to know to be saved and to save, stop making it harder than it has to be.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Indistinguishable from Love

"First comes the temple, then comes the city" but that's not right either, is it. And the door opens and you see what? Even in dreams, this healing occurs.

Perhaps consider paragraphs again? We visit the Smith College Museum of Art, later get ice cream at Herrels, finish with iced coffee for the drive home, just like in the old days, om shanti shanti shanti. Let us work on the confusion together yes? 

Don't brag so much about being a good writer, it is relatively speaking a new art. One teases out a helpful disclosure. Hemlock trees passing too fast, may I never forget to be grateful.

Sex collapses into communion, let us pray. At night in summer the stars blur and disappear, something old comes up from the river to sit with me on the back stairs, I'm no longer scared, just sad at how long I was scared. A long talk about death with the dying. 

The interior pilgrimage never ends. A prehistoric religious emphasis on menses in which our existing worship is seeded. The uncles I don't talk about.

Talk is cheaper than writing - is this true? Scanning for signs of crisis, finding them, all living becoming responding to them, somehow needing to live this way, why. Ma and I walking out back, Dad's meadow full of goldenrod on which uncountable bees work, the pauses in our dialogue filled with a low hum indistinguishable from love.

What it is like to be naked now that Christ has come. Reliving the hard parts one last time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Story Forgot who was Telling It

All day a scent I cannot place that places me back in childhood - something okay, something touched by light, a laundry room maybe, or a blanket spread across summer grass. She is out watering her front yard lilies, this neighbor whose joy is infectious, who laughs when I stutter trying to small talk, says "Sean it's time to go home and rest." Sarah Hrdy, thank you.

A subtle shift in her facial muscles alerts me to her frustration, moves me to a patient silence in which she can process her emotions, yet later on Route Nine descending into our valley home, she thanks me for raising it, this thing neither one of us yet knows how to talk about. The insomniac is back, it's summer, the moon is barely higher than a maple tree, what did you expect. Night clouds obscuring stars, undoing distance, you can wander a long time without looking up and still remember you are holy. 

"I knew this day would come" and other lies. Cats chasing moths, moths fluttering higher into the light, all of us doing what our bodies say do. Something about Halloween that cannot be shared, must be possessed, but what or rather why does it refuse to be put into words and why now. 

Brainstorming band names on the drive to Pittsfield, getting silly with it, until the silliness is the point and we enter the sweetness of needing nothing else. What is discontinued, what is beyond repair. In mid-afternoon a local amateur ornithologist stops by to talk about A Course in Miracles and a propos of something only she and the Holy Spirit can see laments the diminishing number of birds in western Massachusetts.

I got good at the story, its arcs and embellishments, forgot who was telling it, and now look. Men who mow around flowers, my brothers. Watching the neighbor hang laundry, asking Christ to translate it, tell me what it is I'm looking at, he says give attention to the shapes and colors, notice movement, what shifts, and most of all don't worry so much about the names you're using - shirt, shoulder, sweater, dance - all of which are means by which the separation seems to be real.

Gently correcting my son, "actually what I said does explain my behavior, it just doesn't justify it," feeling pretty damn slick and righteous, and he's quiet a minute, then sighs in a way that makes clear - again - that being right can in context also be a way of being wrong. The wings of house flies in late summer. Thunderheads gather where the valley's summer hills form a wall called west.

Waking early, driving to the airport, right hand clutching coffee, sight never drifting off the highway. What you would do to me if you could, would it help, help, I am still having nightmares, I am still waking up with these spikes in my neck.

Monday, August 8, 2022

There is No In-Between

I looked at a lot more than bees in those days - sunflowers, rivers, starlight on frozen gravel, snowflakes falling on pine trees, flickering snake tongues and empty snake skins, and graves.

I wake and I take my waking slow.

So there is no in-between, who knew.

We make plans for vacation week - trips to Vermont, trips to stores with "witchcraft" in their name, swimming at the D.A.R.

We talk while he grills, Greek music playing low in the background, I admire his tomatoes and eggplant, he gripes about rabbits and chipmunks, all these years and still we circle the only topic either one of us cares about.

Finally my twenties come into focus, what a decade.

Nothing lasts but a lot lingers.

There are stories we could tell but don't - have I written that before?

D. invites me to teach a writing workshop and I pass, he asks why and I can only shrug, it's what it is now.

Rain falls in the Adirondacks.

A distance that one is allowed, any practice that does not honor it is not my practice.

Getting off on knowing the other is getting off.

I've only had a handful of shoes in my life that I've truly felt comfortable in, and this pair is one of them.

What I dream about now - invisible paths that open in dialogue with others, knowing which ones to take and which to leave to others.

Chrisoula kisses me while I load the car with olives and feta from Montreal, calls me her "old man," om shanti shanti shanti. 

Knowledge is about fitting into one's living more than having this or that piece of information. 

And so the fairs begin, and so the summer begins its slow fade into our shared death.

There are no right enemies.

Trucks grinding coming down Route Nine, always my life has included a road that suggests getting away.

Chunks of rose quartz in an early twentieth-century canning jar, who made me this way, why did they make me.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

I Don't Want to be Alone

This is not the void, this never is. Tom says he read an article about bees, did you know bees are conscious, I tell him I knew when I was four years old, come on man. Coconut oil handjobs.

Wet heat, blurred stars. Queen Ann's Lace under the window swaying in light breezes. On the back porch listening to thunder, our valley a resonant drum.

The neighbors' mother dies, they don't seem too sad, maybe it's different when you take Heaven literally. The cosmos don't belong to us, sometimes the poems write themselves. The clarinet player keeping it all secret.

Listening to Lil Wayne. Everything I can tell you about God, the self, love, the world and the body et cetera Emily Dickinson already told you. He asks are you ready to get better, the answer is not what you think.

Losing playing chess with Jeremiah still a kind of winning. Insomnia, trauma, this and that, the turtles say shut up and listen to our story now. Many Christs nodding on many crosses on the many hills of which psychology is merely the latest. 

In a nightmare another door I'm not supposed to open which of course I open. Everyone leaves for the party but me, I don't want to go to the party but I don't want to be alone either, we agree it's my problem but I wonder sometimes if there's another way to see it. Oh so we are angels now, now we are motherless gods. 

Teachers who were scared of me and didn't face their fear, I forgive you. Blessings trickling through nineteenth century faucets. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

In My Brokenness I Understand

I did not use the past tense, the past tense used me. The one who is clear, does not deviate, and how we are made grateful thereby.

This relative lack of confusion, in a life mostly characterized by confusion. The glass bottles in the hay loft are both empty and full, all morning I kneel before them, happy and amazed.

Something changed or shifted, and I followed it, almost as if I were being carried by a current. What do you forget and how do you know?

Unwilling disciples. At a late juncture it occurs to me I love refolding the quilt we lay on the floor to make love on almost as much as I love making love to you on an open quilt.

There is no next life but there are other lives, truly. Bird song at five a.m., I don't pretend I understand it, I accept now the difficult beauty of being comprised of limits. 

Men who profess to regret the pain their actions cause but not the actions themselves. My father's antique tractor, a life he grasped too loosely too late.

A space in my living our relationships neither reaches nor was intended to reach. Jacking off in the hay loft, picturing her blowing me in a little kitchenette in a little cottage on Cape Cod in late November. 

Mysteries are optional. How close the crows come now and how there is no way to understand this but to see that we are dying and they are the angels who will take us into the sky.

What happens in the Cave of the Heart stays in the Cave of the Heart. How shall I respond to you then if not according to the will of God as in my brokenness I understand that will?

Thunder and lightning. Only one other woman has wanted my attention as badly as you do and she did not like to share either. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

Mere Traces of Love

Oh my grace, the maya today is so instructive and delicious.

Being dialed in to black bears, having a clue what the crow thinks when it hesitates before flying away. 

The road is adjacent to a river, and I cannot choose which to follow: this this.

Lost in interior monologues that sometimes crest like waves and are joined by the cresting semantics of the other.

Letting go of everything, including letting go. 

A honeybee drowned in the horse's water.

In heaven, she folds and refolds a quilt she made when young, when her sister was still alive, and life was not yet framed by death.

Love letters and other arts at which I excelled to what in the end was mostly suffering.

And begin. 

Are we perhaps mere traces of love, currents in a vast cosmos we are incapable of describing.

Sunlight on the stone path out front, let's wiggle our toes together. 

Ant soul, daisy soul, our soul.

Parisols.

The Sex Pistols. 

Maybe let's not awaken, maybe that's the way to peace and understanding.

Skunky odor of ready-to-harvest cannabis out past the compost. 

So much comes down to my mouth in the end. 

Watering the garden in the dim light of before-dawn, knowing somewhere a fox is watching me, and hating me, and knowing enough to be scared.

So much comes down to accommodating the power of the other.

Who is never not my mind nor in it as the one.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Thousand Miles Gone

Is it then our destiny to eat sharks?

The house is quiet for once, it feels like Sunday felt in my early twenties, before I rebuilt family, and after I had left church.

Often I wake and sit up and look at Chrisoula, trying to align my breath with hers, sometimes moving my fingers in the air above her head, stilling the dreams that haunt her. 

Cutting myself cutting back the raspberries, is there any other way.

Something remains ambiguous always, it's like we're kidding ourselves when it comes to truth, morality, liberation, et cetera. 

Who is the actor here, where is the stage, will the playwright show herself, who thought charging admission was a good idea. 

There are still days when the writing is such that I forget to eat breakfast, end up hungry and emptied out, a thousand miles down a road on which travelers are few and far between.

Schopenhauer's observation that "the older we become, the more does everything pass us by without a trace," may we never forget to be grateful.

Out back by the apple trees, negotiating another term in our beautiful difficult marriage.

On the other hand, this infinite complexity, this lovely opacity.

An hours-long discussion about pancake recipes, the kids indulging me as from time to time they do. 

The detective summons the mystery, the mystery makes the detective.

At a late juncture my sexuality becomes less secretive, who did I think I was. 

Oh just stop looking for yourself and order a pizza or something. 

I want to see your body naked in summer rain.

The shoulder is a pattern, a process unfolding, may we rest on it, may it rest us.

What are ancestors but another word for distance. 

Holder of the secret, sharer of the story, receiver of the gift, giver of the love.

Consider the possibility that fragmentation is not a crisis, separation a useful fiction, and God a question we pose in error.

Passing by, getting on, happily and otherwise, the man without shoes singing as he goes, the path beneath him terminating in the dust from whence he came.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

In Some Remote Disco

These sentences are for my fellow spiritual nomads, may our paths not falter beneath the intense vagaries of time and desire.

What answer do you think your questions will produce and is it the one you want.

Butterflies in the garden, stop insisting on anything else, stop even asking for anything else. 

The mirror you are, the message.

Travel plans that suddenly include Canada.

False absolutes.

Writing saves you from time, it ends time, it preserves something against time, is this a helpful way to think about it.

Pausing by the lilies, bowing to the lilies, getting religious with the lilies.

Oh so you want to talk about masks now, great, give me a couple months to read up, I've always wanted to.

Dust motes in a narrow beam of sunlight, childhood was not so bad, was it.

Gray's observation that "Europe owes much of its murderous history to errors of thinking engendered by the alphabet."

She wakes early, comes to find me in the nearly-broken lawn chair by the backyard birch tree gazing at distant hills, writing utensils fallen away in dewy grass, and she sits with me a while without speaking.

Are we, then, merely spectacles?

One pushes back on Schopenhauer, yet wonders if there isn't something there to learn still.

Cold pizza, yum.

The wetlands drying up, the herons flying away, the turtles going to war over whatever mud remains.

Here it's hungry goats, lol.

Giving her head in the barn in late afternoon, not wanting it to end, wishing I could serve her this way forever, never reach the rapture, yet when she comes - hips bucking, back arching, fist against lips to stifle come-cries - all I can think is okay my turn. 

Means of divination I will not eschew. 

The cardinal error of mistaking the limits of perception for reality itself, may we all be forgiven, may we all begin again in some remote disco, ecstatic between all the dancing Christs, and stars the only mirror ball we need. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Altering the Writing

All I am is watering the garden. Sun above hills, the far side of which Emily Dickinson once gazed at and thought the word "miles." My God why have you forsaken me. Women in the distance, readying the dead for burial.

In my mind, her hands on me, and in her mind, this sentence, long after the possibility of altering the writing of it has passed. Water and shore in unmistakeable relationship. Chrisoula visits before leaving, the discussion as always beginning and ending with food - what we need to purchase, what we need to harvest, what we need to prepare both to eat and put up. For a long time west was not a direction but a narrative and now it is a direction, one I have mostly avoided. Before the heat is too much, lugging chopped-up bramble to the compost.

Blueberry bushes. I don't dream for once, wake up unsure of where I am. Sunlight streaming through the keyhole of a door in the bedroom we never open. What scares you most.

A preference for victim narratives, suffering servants, et cetera. I cannot bear the loneliness without writing, nothing else is relevant here. The second cup of coffee, would you describe it as inevitable? She shares a story about Dad - one of the ones in which he is wiser than everybody else, which was so often his cover story - and it makes me sad, how much contextualization remains.

Therapist as shaman. The son is a mirror, the father a distant galaxy, and mother a light in which all things - including this sentence - are made visible. Some questions need not be asked, or must be accepted as unanswerable, or are we just becoming hedonistic again? It's responsiveness that matters, not the specific response, why is this so hard.

Monday, August 1, 2022

In Front of Strangers and Neighbors

The sun falls below far hills and the opposite of "nothing is left" occurs. May I not forget to be grateful for this love.

Moving quietly into the new family, the new community. Who knew that watering the garden was salvational, raise your hand.

Monarch butterly, first of the season, on the last of the tansy. Finally order.

I am a bad but happy dancer, i.e., "good/bad" is a fallacy. "Tell me why everything turned around."

Waist-high potato plants, may I never forget to be grateful for this love. Fighting in front of strangers and neighbors, the world is broken, what else do you expect.

What you experience is an illusion but that you experience is very very real. Dried semen on the chair arm where I write, maybe the rules around loneliness really are changing. 

Nobody wants to sleep with the bass player. Don't be angry with the mirror, like you it's just reflecting what it's given to reflect.

Please, no more poems describing how it feels to be you, just describe what you see so the ones coming after you won't lose their way, i.e., stop pretending Emily Dickinson didn't teach you exactly what to do. Try this: you don't want to kill yourself, you just want somebody to say please don't kill yourself.

Heart as spectacle, soul as dog park. Saying yes to what we don't want, that part of the journey, and being done with that part of the journey, that part of the journey.

Shall we at last accept our place in the choir? There is a light in you I read Shogun by a thousand miles away.