Arnaut Daniel

I am Arnaut! – and have swum
To the bottom of the ocean,
Though mind blasted
Past dumb
With every vision of her motions;

For she who holds the stars
As bracelet, one wrist adorning,
I have dove
Past far
To find lost ring – for her mourning

Is like as wind that breaks
The tree with cold divesting -
And one sorrow
Is sake
Enough for any dreamed of questing:

There, where lamps of her exist
Is light which turns sun fire
Dim candle,
Waxless,
For no day is but she inspires,

Nor can larks wake to sing
Songs spring warm in morning air,
Unless she be
That thing
For which angelic trumpets blare.

Go now song to air where she breathes
Nor waylay your movement a jot
For any fool -
There wreathe
Her being in a splendor – and never stop.

Rosamund

As night holds stars unmeasured,
So are her eyes
As full as skies
Spangled with light,
Supernal delight,
And spring of dreaming’s treasures.

None born of Eve is like her shape -
Her skin more graced
With beauty’s race
Than Venus fair,
She of the air,
Made ugly as an ape.

My heart is vaster than the wind
From mountains sent,
With power bent,
Wide, full and free,
Best force to be -
Such might from her begins.

No words can make of spirits
That hold the space
Where is her face,
Whose highest bloom
Is all men’s doom,
Forms so others hear it.

She holds me in such power,
Nor has this soul
Wit to withhold
Against her will -
Such strength to kill,
Leaves only sorrow’s showers.

Whatever it be for her to joy,
No wall or god,
Or wrath or rod,
Could break my way
Or make me stay:
No weapon Fate employs.

As dawn awakens the earth,
Such is the way
She’s like the May,
As warm and bright,
Beyond all sight,
Beyond the grasp of worth.

Song, go now quicker than thought
And where she rests;
In air there nest,
Nor let one pain
Thereat remain,
But be with armor wrought,

Then hold your guard till death of time;
Let never steal
Upon her weal
A thief of aching,
Be always waking
On duty, nor recline.

Guillem de Peiteus

I hold the Aquitaine you know,
The king of France fears where I go
And If I should desire land
Possessed alone of royal hand;

Of men at arms more than a few,
With shield and sword and mail and too
A host of knights who to my will
Will hold their hand or strike the kill.

I could array my martial power
On any field – when light is showered
You’d think the grasses burned to diamonds
For all the armor, glittering, shining;

No Occitan can equal me
In lands that owe or men in fee
And if some fool offends the law,
I sack his fortress, cleanse the flaw,

Yet you who are as soft as flowers,
As graceful as the dove, hold power
With which I am rebuked and stayed -
Your will untouched by sovereign sway.

I’ve travelled with my countrymen
To lands the Saracens defend
And spent my blood in service for
Jerusalem’s, yet nevermore!

For why should I cross heathen lands?
Or seek the holy city’s sands?
Jerusalem is where you are:
God’s city, earth’s one godly star.

Case being so, then damn the pope,
For paradise has not such scope
Expanding where your gaze expands -
These beams out-bless the promised land.

Therefore if you will still refrain
To ope your silken gates, the pain
Is greater than all hell’s torments -
This song a prayer: Relent! Relent!

Petrarch’s Ballad

These chains in which she holds my life,
As like the bird is caged –
A song of sorrow, tune of strife
As well as prison’s rage.

Aloft in airs of splendor – light!
My wings could take my soul
But now, no matter how I fight,
These bars will brook no toll.

If beauty is a type of water,
Then she is every sea;
If beauty is a type of slaughter,
Then she’s a Genghis queen.

Her hands as small and soft as doves
That twirl upon the air
Could best a lion, for her love
With godly power’s paired.

Each slender strand of golden hair
That winds around her face,
To border beauty’s portrait there,
The best of cupid’s race,

Are more of worth than chests of treasure
That burst upon their seams
With gold and diamonds, lost to measure -
One strand has more esteem.

Her eyes could wake the stars from slumber
Like guards of oath forsaking -
If she is up when day is under
The sky is in its spring.

The earth is slender, grown contracted -
There’s nothing where she’s not
And if her love is gone, retracted,
Yet still I am untaught.

As bird in cage, she’s captured me,
Nor have I hope to go;
My freedom waits on the whim of she -
My exile or home.

The Syrian Archer

The soul is twisted, ripped and madly raging
As seas entangled with a mongrel wind
Or like the clash of armies, who, engaging,
Have equal strength and therefore none will win.
From her two eyes have arrows rained and poured
As thickly as the cold drops from the skies
Or like munitions launched from either hoard
When countries go to war for costly prize;
And peace, whether in waters or in lands
Is lost as is the heart forlorn and doomed -
Her form, the planet mars, whose stern demand
Is all of spirits die in conflict’s bloom;
And yet that she engenders so much strife,
Somehow her eyes still give me all of life.

Alembic

There’s nothing but sheer brightness where she smiles –
The air itself transformed – as if her face
Is that same mythic stone, which legend styles
Could alter baser metals to gold’s race.
She has such power in her very being,
None witness her that isn’t shifted all –
Right through the portals of all earthly seeing
Her image goes and gilds the mental halls –
And even if the intellect is weak
And pauperish and small with ignorance,
Such is the grace attending where she speaks,
It shall become a palace fit for prince.
This is the secret shimmering in her hair:
The force of her breeds diamonds from mere air.

Hell and Heaven

Sore march through hell to see her eyes just once -
Endure the lacerations
And all the fiery torments of the place,
For all of pain is shattered by her face;

Nor can the scales on which all values weigh
Discover tribulation
Or find a form of torture which compared
Is not a mite, if prize be her bright air,

For where her gaze exudes a balmy light
Exceeds all fascination,
Is like a rain of golden grace, of stars -
The healing dew for all of burning scars;

More of heaven flowers in her being,
Her emanations,
Her life, and all of which her life consists
Than He who after death could yet exist.

Sonnets

1

If I could but possess your smallest toe,
For just one instant, know this little you,
I’d be more blest than he who in whose throes
Possesses every woman that earth grew.
I sing these songs in fashion very old,
This love of mine the modern songs can’t chime,
This ancient love can’t fit the current mold -
Its strength gives proof to growth from distant times.
Oh, who could know the way your image burns;
The merest shade of you within my soul
Awakens all my being, makes it yearn
As life itself in earth that blooms and grows.
What causes all the grasses to ascend,
The fruit of every tree, you in me bend.

2

This wound is past all healing, medicine,
Though from Asclepius is futile; still
Within me sticks this arrow shot by him
Who wings his being, works his loving will.
No beast, no lion, not one prodigy
Of power nature from her womb brings forth
Can guard their heart against this painful sting:
His bow’d have Zeus himself relinquish court.
Ah wounded, wounded, past all healing drops -
A wound that gives a life and not a death,
Though pierced in that most center, nothing stops
But grows intensely in a wild yes.
Your batting eyes could bring a corpse to dance,
And I die wholly with your slightest glance.

3

This opened vein exposed within the heart,
These pangs that sound in all the living nerves,
This brokenness that breaks in every part,
This howling soul whose howl goes unheard.
I don’t think any of the balms of earth,
Not light in morning lingering trees,
Not dew that gleams on grasses, not the birth
Of heavenly light in heavenly mystery -
Not any of the graces that adorn
The passing hours shedding magic time,
Not any of the stars, the brightest forms
Can heal this suffering of soul and mind.
The arrow when I saw you was shot true,
It wounded deeply for he deeply drew.

4

Oh broken, broken by your heavy absence,
I cannot know if knowing had the worth
Since now I’ve known, I can’t unknow your presence:
This emptiness devalues all of earth.
What is the bird that dances sweetly singing
And glides a miracle in buoyant air?
What is the spring, the flowers it is bringing?
They mock your beauty but they don’t compare.
The world itself has grown a barren shell,
The stars above bring vacancies of light,
The mystery of being seems like hell -
Dead things devoid of your life giving sight.
Such as when god created from the dark,
Your soul to me, my world’s one hope, its spark.

5

Your eyelash is a heaven in itself,
The merest breath your blessed mouth exudes
Has more of sweetness than ambrosial wealth
Bedewing mount Olympus; attitudes –
The smallest movement of the soul within you,
Each thought that ripples in your very being
Are more of worth than all of human truth,
Are more of value than all human seeing.
Your glance could drive the world itself to madness
Your very look could crack the world apart,
All those who see, they break and break in sadness:
The arrows of your eyes wound every heart.
Your curling toe is more than galaxies
Insensate stone grow hearts if they but see.

5

To save your lips from tasting just one drop
Of pain, I’d drink an ocean, swallow all
The waters wrapping continents – not stop
Until I turned all earth a desert’s pall;
Then take the sorrows twisted out in dust,
The many banes that beat on human time -
I’d take them all, if only but to just
Ensure that not a mote of pain is thine.
Like Atlas holding all the world on shoulders,
I’d bear the burden of all suffering,
I’d take whatever cares afflict and smolder
In you, from you, therefore for cherishing.
I’d take your cross and hammer it to mine -
Your lightness lightens doubleness of pine.

7

The moon above, the sun and all the stars
Are dimly burning embers, only ash,
When they are viewed, compared from their afar
With you on earth whose light makes their light crash.
The cosmos in its vast entirety,
The universe with all its many things
Are not one cent of value when I see
The merest portion of yourself, you bring
Into my heart from your resplendent being
The finest joys to ever flux in matter;
The heavens ancient prophets once were seeing
Are in your very soul, all else is scattered.
I live a god forever in your glance,
A Buddha toils eons for this trance.

8

Your joy surpasses all the joys of heaven,
When I see happiness gleam in your eye
My heart is lighter than an angel leavened
In spirits purely clear as bright blue skies.
The merest shade of sorrow on your form
Turns light to darkness, breaks my very being;
I’d rather lose all things I own in storm
Than see one troubled thought afflict your seeing.
Your eyes hold more of paradise than books
That dream of Edens held right after death -
Ye, all religions, every heaven shook
From out a human brain to you are less.
I’d turn my own eyes blind, forget all sight
To save you from one single, troubled night.

9

I never knew a happy day on earth,
My lexicon was wrong when I applied
That word to things until my eyes gave birth
To you in me, the one that word defines.
The earth itself was barren as the roots
Of trees that suffer in a desert clime,
All being languished waterless, no fruit
Was here until the fates decreed your time.
What is the wealth of man, what human power?
When viewed next to your sight, when seen compared,
But empty bones, a corpse that crows devour -
The world itself not worth a single hair,
For you hold all the brightness that dreams mock:
Imagining brings but devalued stock.

10

The brightest star that ever torched the night
Is merely empty stone next to your presence;
Though it could brighten, bloom a massive light
It is a weed when viewed next to your essence.
If all the gods that work the waves and air,
If all the powers driving in the sun
Arrayed against me, I’d not give a care:
I’d stake my spear against their massive guns;
For just to be around you, in your spell,
That emanates such aura round your being,
I’d pay the cost, eternity in hell -
The sulfur torture worth one moment seeing.
All heaven’s mercy lives within your face,
Not all the years of Time can touch your grace.

11

If dreams could mirror but one ounce of you,
I’d never wake again from living sleep,
For such the truth, such sleeping would imbue
The stuff of life that waking doesn’t keep.
Oh, if those dreams could but bring me your glance,
The sound your voice made when your soul made speak
Those lips that blessed each word that passed in trance -
Made brighter than the sun when nooned at peak -
I’d turn ascetic to the woken world,
Deny my eyes the cosmic gifts of earth -
Spend fortunes on narcotics to unfurl
A never ending night – such is your worth;
And this unmoving rest would far excel
All glories of the earth – without you hell.

12

What song could measure in sweet harmony
The stuff of which you are, your very being?
Though humans mock the light electrically,
What lamp can match the sun’s far brightest seeing?
What word can hold one single touch of you?
What note could chime with your transcendent heart?
I’d waste the ink of every pen earth knew
And still not capture e’en the smallest part.
Such is the weakness of all artful trying,
Such is the beauty gleaming in your eyes,
A voice that speaks, in speaking, only lying -
In word or music you can’t be comprised.
Only your self, in your self being presence
Can match your self, no essence speaks your essence.

13

Your light has more light than those lights of heaven,
Both spheres of fire by our science called,
As well as jewels of dream by angels tended,
When earth was Eden, fore the giant fall.
Such is the way this soul conceives of you,
Far brighter than the universe’ throng -
Your light exults the cosmos, for you prove
All doctrines of futility are wrong.
If god is dead and life lacks meaning then
Your birth is resurrection – your bright form
Awakes a deity, your visions sends
Blest rays that burn all nothings in a storm.
In you is truth, the stars have toiled ages
To find your reason, only dreamed by sages.

14

If all the dreams that ever dreamed the earth
Were gathered all together and selection
Drew from each one what was its highest worth -
Yes, even if this brightest of collections
Were cast and formed by mighty angels singing,
Yet still this dream of dreams would pall and be
A feeble substitute, this greatest bringing
Could never bring the slightest touch of thee.
Your form transcends the hopes of all the race,
All gods that ever walked from human brains
Don’t hold within them any single trace
Of life’s best beauty, in your form unstained.
A book of holy reason’s in your self
Of more than godly dreams, your beauty’s wealth.

15

An ankle not adorned with some dull cloth
Is more than diamonds miners have exposed,
Through toiling, sweat and blood and working froth-
This smallest nakedness more worth than those.
And what if light could pry up to the knee -
No Affric enterprise, no Swiss bank’s stores
Could equal to that trove of ecstasy,
Though all the drills of industry have bored.
If they could tear the whole earth to the roots,
Find every carbon atom formed to brightness,
Grab every diamond in the soil’s soot,
Yet on the scales your weight exceeds their lightness.
There is no currency that man has dreamed:
All values wither in your highest beams.

16

No dream that from an angel tends my night -
That brings me sweet relief from all the days
Of bearing earthly burden, earthly blight
Can match the merest of your merest ways.
A smile on your face, more worth than stars,
A vacant look that strays from out your eyes,
A movement of your leg does more by far
Than any dream of god or dreamed of prize.
The way a brightness covers all your being,
The way from out your will a brightness breathes,
The way all graces find in you agreeing
It’s like Beauty herself has been unsheathed,
Oh what a weapon she has forged in you,
A two edged sword: a Hell but Heaven too.

17

If god above tends lovingly the world
And all this life proceeds from out his will,
If ancient dreams, dreamed right the cosmic swirl,
Yet still the earth without you means god’s killed.
For what is this bright dream, this total meaning -
This harmony of things in one great good,
If you, your presence, aren’t around me gleaming -
All heaven’s light’s extinguished in a flood.
No ark could capture me from out your absence,
No work of man can steal this emptiness,
No host of golden light can mock your essence,
No god exists, without your godly kiss.
Such is the metaphysics of the soul:
From you the broken universe grows whole.

18

And all the dreams that dreaming ever knew
Are empty effigies, the merest shades,
Thin images without a spark imbued,
They mock your being but they but degrade.
And dream other than dream made real in you,
What if a dream, could wander out of mind
And form itself in matter, be made true
Yet not yourself, it’s just an empty rind.
Such is the beauty blessing all your substance,
No dream, this dreaming mind of mine can dream,
Can touch in any the way the godly sense
That spent itself in forming all your gleams.
Not all the diamonds trundled deep in earth:
They’re mere burnt copper pennies to your worth.

19

What shrine could shine the essence of your soul?
What church could hold the power of your heart?
What work of man could praise your perfect whole?
What house of worship worship but one part?
These words but seek to build a temple here,
To speak one element that in you stays,
The stones are futile for you don’t appear:
The hammer strikes in vain to mock your ways.
Around my soul your image bends its light,
An absent presence, memories emerge.
I’m like a prophet with a second sight,
A vision seen because your beauty purged:
A waking pain, a blessedness of sorrow
To have god here today but not tomorrow.

20

Not Buddha sitting high beneath a tree,
Nirvana recollected in a smile,
Not these, not these are joys as when I see
Your love bestowing face, the beauty’s miles.
The spaces of your beauty span the stars,
The universe itself could only hold,
Within its edges from the far to the far,
This love that glows more brightly than god’s gold.
There’s no explaining how this heart is doomed,
There is no reason born to crack this kernel:
A mystery within the mystic blooms
Of every form existent and supernal.
There’s’ not one thing that is that isn’t blest,
But you above them all, God’s highest Yes.

2b or not 2b – A Drama of Unreal Estate

The Argument:

Life’s a stage, all are acted

Dramatis Personae:

The Self
Its occupants

Scene: a common apartment in a nondescript American city, dog on the couch, television, empty cans, books…
POET. No, no, no, such mundane setting will not do.
You must…

SELF. What the hell. Who let you in!?

POET. No need to make a fuss,
My presence isn’t such a sin.
That question has been asked before -
To tell the truth, I’ve been quite sore
Seeking why or how I’m here,
Ten-thousand years, my whole career
And all I’ve found is my own dream
And if I’m strong,
Its self-born scheme.

SELF. You know that speech is out of style?

POET. Still that sense for just a while
And I’ll explain, the mind is its own place…

IMPATIENCE. Oh get on with it!
The play has yet to begin
And my wheels already spin,
I’ve got to move. I cannot rest.

POET. The incessant pest!
Just look at you, you’re all disheveled
Full of gas to get somewhere,
A too high speed that won’t be leveled,
Running, running there to there.
You are current with no discharge,
Emotion with no catharsis.
But enough with you, my charge
(He turns toward SELF)
Let me create……..

SELF. You can’t rhyme with catharsis, can you?

POET. But none the less, here’s what I can do.
(He snaps his fingers with a flourish. Nothing happens.
Perplexed, he snaps again. Again nothing).
These goddamn nine,
Sometimes I feel I waste my time

PESSIMISM. He’s never said a truer thing.
(To SELF)
Look, look you here upon my face,
You’ll find there’s not a single trace
Of hope; and you’ll see I’m quite right:
The world is clothed in endless night.

CYNICISM. Remember also you remain
For bread and circuses, the same
As all the rest:
Your eudemonia is constructed
Of sports and food, which if deducted,
Would sink your world in endless woe.

SELF. And Welker’s now a bronco…

CYNICISM. What keeps you here
But pizza, football and the fear
Of death when you are seeing clear?

SELF. Kovalchuck’s back in Russia too…

IRONY. Innocence has died anew

POET. Wait no, this is it,
The mind is its own place…

MEMORY. Forget him and remember all that’s lost:

Remember that great love is dead
That over-brimmed your seeing head:
The things don’t wear celestial light
That Wordsworth spoke within his night.

Think also of the friend that died
Like Lycidas – no reason why:
The horror of the hungry fate
That even in Arcadia waits.

Remember too
There’s not a thing
That you can do
To stop my sting

SELF. Enough, enough. Things have gotten far too heavy

THOUGHT. In that case and if you’re ready,
I really think I’ve caught the game.
See every word is but a name.
Say for instance I have ‘Stan’,
There must also be a man
From whom this word derives.
Thus every word the mind can sing
Must have its presupposing thing!

REASON. Forget all his vain prattle.
Listen here and I’ll describe
Just what it means to be alive.
If a man has stubbed his toe
Can he with all his strength forego
A cry of pain – can he say no?
There’s not a speck more of volition
In something like a job decision:
Painter, lawyer, clerk, physician,
Are necessary and conditioned.

SELF. Enough, enough, you all must quiet down;
I have some work I have to do

INSIGHT. I see some error in that attitude

SELF. You think that face is really needed?

INSIGHT. Let me explain just what you are and why
That though you might be clothed in ‘I’
And, as the common grammar’s heard,
Believe that you perform your verbs,
In truth, you’re no more than an ‘Eye’
As well as interest placed inside
By nature with that cosmic glue
That binds this prolix, spirit crew
(SELF stares at INSIGHT silently before another voice is heard.)

A LIGHT. Just think of the vast woof and weave
The mind creatively conceives.
Can these grand visions of the brain
Prove other than the world is sane?

A SHADOW. Don’t listen to that voice, don’t bend.
You know how every vision ends.

POET. Wait, wait, yes, yes. This is it. I’ve got it now,
The mind is its own place, and can make
A heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
That’s it, that’s what I meant to say.
You have the setting – now’s the play.

Oscillations

A broken handful of ornament pieces,
the mind -
Things shift!
with the rapidity of death
and all the lights
that sing a conscious globe
into illuminated ecstasy -
as in the Rockefeller tree lighting -
the enormous pine
garbed like a beautiful girl,
a slim dress,
all being
sheer brightened -
so quickly burns
to raw asphalt,
blackened tufts of snow:
butchered hair of a brain gone mad -
subway-worm roots,
the pale, fluorescent lights
of office spaces -
Absolutely antithetical!
to the one pine,
dazzled in celebration
of the birth of the lover -
which all being is like
before becoming
a broken handful of ornament pieces.

Civilization

Look at the men,
arrayed pristinely,
angularity,
sharp manicured,
silk clean presentation
of a suit -
a sense of dignity -

And the women
in fine dresses,
elegant jewelry,
the sleek combed lines
of hair -
placid faces
of chastity.

Look, Nietzsche!
See how all the gifts of values
are manifesting in beings -
In cultures and ways!
In shames and prides!
See how the great metaphysical organ
of morality
plays societies like songs,
tapping on different foot petals,
opening and closing apertures,
creating inevitable effects.

Sometimes I feel as satisfied
as a prehistoric Neanderthal
warmed in an ancient blaze,
biting down on the succulence
of a slain mammoth,
See how the celebration is occurring:
The drums are beating,
The smell of sweat and skin,
The thick aroma of cooking meat -
The blood is on fire!

Now is the joy that comes
when fear which held,
drawn tight as bow,
is loosed:

Now the arrow is up
in the high dazzlement of stars -
all the birds driven with thirst
slaking at the river;

See now from this,
over time,
and the slow making
of many ideas -
the elaboration
of gods
in the systematization
of goods and bads,
and prides
and shames -
dignities
and chastities -

But see as one’s past
yet still lives with them,
imposing on their being
all times in the continuity
of their selves -

Thus all these civilized tendencies-
the man in the suit,
the woman in the dress -
are like ironic smiles
for the blood’s still tantalized -
still loves -
to bite down on the kill -
still feels,
as slightly as the wind
softly tugging grasses,
that can grow to a hurricane -
the ancient will
to dance round a giant blaze,
beneath the stars and moon,
for the mammoth has been killed
and there is only warmth -
naked arms and legs -
like an arrow drawn and launched
up into the splendorous spaces
of the eons.

One of Those Fall Mournings

The dry wind bites,
while vitreous sky
cracks for the cold
and in the crevasses
the brown dreams fade
all the leaves,
enervate the trees,
cap branches and prevent
the molding of fruit -
for the air is cracked
and the river is brown
and the somnolent water
barely murmurs
but trudges
as the doomed Indians -
savage pride,
roots deep in the manna -
for the cracked sky of Europe,
god killing railroads,
trailed to severed places.
The slow water
loses all its existence
nor will it touch the ocean
of sky’s roots:
seamless blue glass to focus
All the Sun.

Unexpected

Unkempt fiery haired joy!
Revelation in an instant,
Poked face from behind
The stone where you were hiding,
Hiding the sun,
As the grey, black, effluvial effusion
Blots out the blue sky
Like ink on a white page
To drop rain and rain and rain.

This day was like the massive sorrow
Of a whale riddled with harpoon wounds,
Bleeding, dying,
Turning sharp, contorted reverberations,
Slowly decreasing in intensity
As an earthquake thunders
Before enervating
In quieting ripples.

Now! Dolphins are laughing
In a turquoise, tropic sea
And the warm sun is like an opened hand,
A medallion and a magic charm,
And they are leaping through the clear water,
And the white coral is buzzing,
And the myriad schools
Of rainbow illumined fish dart in patterns
Mapped out in things
As songs
Are mapped silently
In the heart’s own living darkness.

The Metamorphosis

Silence and in the branches
There are no gods testing pliancy.
The pavement that came with the enlightenment,
And is wholly manifestation of
Rational metaphysics,
Runs straight through the soul, drown outs
The dark mystery of creation with
Static, industrialized uniformity,
And yet the universal forces
Of Time and Life,
Will one day break every road
And flowers ancient as Empedocles will come blazing forth,
And Minerva will be seen to weave in the airs,
And Mercury will be seen to council with Bacchus -
As he sups on the essence of grapes and gives birth to a new sun in his being;
All the light shackled, bright stars and mystic moon -
Layered over with the dimmer light -
Will once more crash and expand and metamorphose .
For Faust has walked on the water
And Goethe has given the world
Drops of ancient blood like seeds
And the sick, pale yellow light will be as ice in spring,
Will be as stagnant air in mountain wind,
And from the crystal bright snow peak of Olympus Zeus will
Open his eyes
And lightning bolts like flowers
Will drop from the sky,
And the human race will be scintillated
And mere men will grow wings
To pick the lightning from the sky,
And taste the illumination in its surging,
And join the unending parade of stars
That will never cease in the marching,
For God is a pied piper
And the whole universe is swayed
By a music yet sleeping in bones,
As water was once in rock,
And the flowers of lightning
Will strike life from the earth,
Give birth to the ocean,
And Bacchus will taste the grape,
And with wings and winds
All thirst will be slaked.

Negation

The sky and the earth
Are two impenetrable planes,
Descending and rising,
Slowly,
With inexorable force,
And all of being
Is compressed
Into two-dimensionality,
Into a line,
Into a point,
Into nothing itself.

Primordial archangel

Primordial archangel!
Look at all these trees you have created -
The sky is an ocean vibrated
With your will;
Your power urges blades of grass,
Grows in the sun,
Topples civilizations with waves
And softly moves
Bodies overcome
With love;
Wash and wash and wash,
Surge in a lightning bolt,
Sing in the wind
And dance on the waters that move
Because you will them to.

Soul Concept

Think not of dying,
Brother,
Sun,
Touched of the good stuff:
Light in water
And a dream.
As the bird hatched,
With wings outspread,
Slowly tests the air,
Before she breaks the earth
And glides!
Driven by a force:
Light in water
And a dream,
List only to the will
Which gives for wings outspreading
Nor fear the air
But break
The dank, contorting, netting;

Surge forth all splendorous!
For the birds have wings
As vast as godly angels
And they are soaring, soaring
As if by angels blest:
Though your own false eye
May not let you seem,
Ascend!
Brother!
Sun!
The will in you
Is water,
Light
And dream.

Arrogance

Goddamn you all looking down the nose,
All concepts of superiority,
All false valuations of differentiation;
Goddamn you all looking down the nose,
Even as I at times
Will look down mine,
For I still lug the weight
Of idiocy;
Goddamn you all looking down the nose,
Everyone
IS trying to touch something,
Trying to get rid of something,
Trying to forget and
Trying to find;
Goddamn you all looking down the nose,
For none knows
What god knows?
Or who has yet compass
Of true north?
Goddamn you all looking down the nose,
All souls burst
In a mystery of stars,
Uncertain, unknowing and lost;
Goddamn you all looking down the nose,
Where humanity is,
There is need -
Though we name seas different,
Is there any division
In water’s substance?
Is it not always needed?
Is it not always sought?
Is the sky not dropping rain everywhere?
Goddamn you all looking down the nose.

Lover’s Departure

Every bone shouts with her going
Nor is blood other
Than hurricane ocean
For heart is a dying sun
And the soul an earth
Where all seed held
Breaks and bursts:

Thus must she be
Life itself,
For elements wont to be
Vital as sap in spring,
Electric as skies in morning,
Tuneful as birds in warming
Lose fully of impetus
Without which
All stars
Lack reason to bring forth light.

Paradise

God’s paradise, the woods,
Though I use this word,
‘God’
In highest abstraction:
Inexplicability
Of all being.

The blue jay, startled
By my jaded intrusion
Darts up,
Dips lower,
Then rounds in ascent -
a subtle bow -
To another branch’s
Pliancy -
He does this with the effortless grace
Twenty years of discipline articulates
In a Japanese tea ceremony;
The illumination of leaves;
Thoughts
That brighten into words
Then break and feed,
From all souls,
Soul.

Rilke!
There was more God in your speaking
Than all iterations
Of ancient speakings
Locked
In Temples
And Churches
And Mosques.

Blake!
Father of thoughts
Too far-reaching
For this Time -
In a single moment
I touch your Eternity
And this Adam I’ve inherited
Is an egg,
Burning
And dissolving
In your Christ -
Like the inexplicable brightness
Of every leaf
Tapping into
An untappable generator.

Subjective Metaphysics

A thought
Like a spear
Touched with poison,
Slices the air,
Breaches right through
Skin and rib
To pierce
With thickness of thunder,
As strike of lightning,
The heart.

The root of the world,
Corrupted,
Brings forth sour fruit,
Broken songbirds:
The genesis
Of a dead sun -
For poison
Has hit the heart
And the heart
Is the center of the universe -
Do you see what I mean?

The Tensions

Generally in the evening
When sleep delays
And the mind,
Devoid of all its stimulations -
Its readings and listenings,
Its many ways
Of turning away -
Is forced upon itself
As a wave in collision
With a wall
Comes back a mad fury
Of foam
And thrown dice white
Of broken drops -
And all is malformed turbulence -
So here,
While the body lies
Perpindicular -
The eyes closed
And there is nothing
For the ears
Or the nose -
There is nowhere
To externalize:
A small seed sprouts
And the world grows unstoppingly
Unhinged,
As in last evening
When a memory
Bit hard
Like a metamorphic poison
And this now
Dissolved inexorably,
As a mountain rising
Or land sliding
Down and down,
Leaving only the attributes
Of a molted soul:
The vulgarity
The stupidity
The weakness -
Then,
Even after sleep
Touched wakeful madness
With its blest, little pill
And the curtains drew closed
For spaceless, timeless
Reprieve -
Even in the morning -
As Nietzsche once theorized -
These acts of the past midnight-
Madness
Reside,
Impressed on the new day
As god has supposedly
Made man in his image;
So things are like
A bent bonsai tree
In the fingers
Of one of Pandemonium’s lot
And everything is dogged, dull
And displeasing -
A cold, dank autumn morning
Where trees and leaves
Have to lug around
All this wetness;
And since I cannot fathom
The ultimate nature of mind,
How can I not know
That this new entanglement -
Ultimately -
Will not have interminable duration -
That all the splendor of consciousness
Is to be sunk in this warped being -
Like an inauspiciously bent
Bonsai tree –
And then perhaps today
I’ll be struck by a comet
And join the non-being
Of Eternity -
Though in all honesty
As I get older,
And madder
The idea of metempsychosis
Grows more and more
Feasible -
But then again,
As already mentioned,
Who the fuck really knows anything:
I could die in an instant
And all dreams will stop
Like a city’s electrified rail system
When every generator
Burns out suddenly;

It was raining when I took the dog to the woods
And still I could not shake
This odd encumbrance of being
And yet somehow, insanely,
While driving on the highway.
In a broke-free instant,
A bulb lit searingly -
Flash and the filament
Is a star itself -
A certain song,
A girl,
A touch of music
And suddenly
The car has grown wings -
All the wheels are on fire,
Everything is soaring!
Madly awoken,
I give the steering to Gabriel.
Jump with the shoes of Hermes
Out through the window;
I wing to another driver,
And thereat,
With Hercules in my hands,
I grab them by the shoulders:
‘I have a wild love for you!
Cease with your pain!
Exist, exist!
Look at the highway!
All the cars have wings on them,
All the wheels are on fire,
Enough with the suffering!
BE! BE!’
And thus burned up with all love
Like a high oak
That touches the stars,
With Christ’s forehead,
I soar to all the drivers;
I grab hold crazily
And all blazingly vocalize
‘Every car on the highway
Has wings!
All the spinning wheels
Are on fire!
Look! Primal love
Has shattered the sky!
It has touched the sun with its fingers!’ -
Before the song ends,
Right at the perihelion -
When the fingers touch -
And I am back in the car driving
On a wet, drab October day in Maine
And my back is cold –

Though as a stadium holds,
After the psychic discharge
Of a touchdown,
A lingering disturbance in the air,
So are my branches straightened
And leaves are shaking slightly
Like tuning prongs
That have just touched
The Song of Songs.

Beautiful Girl

Where her toes are
is more than suns;

From ankle to knee
is every star’s splendor;

Her thighs hold more of grace
than spring streams lithe over
and smoothing stones;

In shoulders there is more ascent
than light rising to noon,

Nor can her back be other
than all good music formed
with winds and wood and fingers;

This, between shoulder and elbow
is the holy chalice -
one hearth for sustaining
all of hearts;

These fingers, this forearm
are as the breeze
touched of summer’s essence -
giving warmth
to every nerve of skin;

Her hair lying just so
makes for doomed enclosures
of each human condition
one doorway,
where soft whispering
of all angels is relief
to every dent of soul;

These cheeks that guard her mouth
like softly beaming aureoles -
blest better than every echelon to be
so near of lips far richer
than every fruit a seed brings forth in spring;

Of eyes what can one speak?
For these touch with least veil
Her soul -
therefore,
as one goes blind with looking
too longly at the sun,
so mere speaking of
what show of her most truly
can only melt the words that seek,
with ambition of description,
to grasp the source of light -

As the wise of different schools
have made of all the universe
the metaphysics of One -
so is she singular
of all the graces lingering
in stars
and breezes,
in roses
and dews;
as one water where all rivers meet,
as one expression
of every good that touches earth
and sheds the transubstantial light
on all that is.

Unslakability

Fire in leaf!
Autumn breaks through green
With need of all colors;
Fire in the roots,
Old as the root of a star -
Need
Bleeds branches green,
Still needs,
Burns, blazes of these leaves,
Gone through their being
All being,
One need,
Burns trees broken
In leaves blazing,
Burning
Into non-being,
Flamed splendor,
The need of being
Old as the root of a star.

Conversation

Well, you’ve really made a terrible mess of things.

Ah, Life, don’t throw the spear at me alone;
See I am…

What, this doctrine of exculpatory necessity, again?
Who is responsible, if not you?

Well, see it is not that I seek to ease
The weight of this stone you have fashioned for me,
Nor that I want forgiveness,
For I know truly
It was me that has bent the silver wheel -
That has touched erroneously
And bungled the subtle spinning
With thick rust of iron;
Weighted and bent the oscillation,
Such that,
Were it a galaxy,
Stars would collide and flame and break and die;

Then tonight you forgo claiming
That I turned so ungracefully
The spinning of ages?

But it was from you, Life – you, yourself!
As a breath of a star,
That my being was begun;
It is your air that has set the silver wheel spinning;
It spins within the wheels of stars and galaxies;
It seems like every thought I could have,
Each direction of will
Is like a spark flashed into being
From the spinning of wheels
And these wheels
Were here before I was:
Of their spinning I am
And of their spinning I am continuously.

Still you seek for other cause
Than your own character!
Still you blame me
Who has brought forth the stars,
And the air
And the mountain
And the river?

No, no, but something has happened here -
See there were nets everywhere
And fences that caught
And mangled the air -
Butchery of the great animals,
And of the voided hides of these
They have fashioned empty houses.

Keep setting the blame elsewhere
And you only heap more of it on yourself.
See, I come from where stars
First take their breath
And I have breathed into you
For the speaking of the words
That are given to stars at their birth;
But see, of the thousand pettinesses
Of the great decline
Have you been bitten;
To walk above swamps,
To soar with splendorous wings
You have been undone,
The flies have eaten too much of your blood -
Blood that is of the root of a star.
See how the silver wheel spinning with blue lightning,
With the oscillation of blue sparks,
With the sweet music of its spinning
Has been malformed,
By the mire – by the ocean of mud.

But then, you admit it yourself!
The flies, the other forces -
How could it be me?

It was you who were undone!
Each soul is only its character!
There are those so fashioned,
Their mere skin is undentable armor;
From whom, none,
Not one vial of blood can be chewed
By the small teeth of flies.
See this blood is like manna,
The substance of a star,
It spins the silver wheel -
through clear ocean in giant rotations,
Bringing forth drops of silverized water:
The innumerable seedlings of a star;
See it was you who were not strong enough
To remain of your blood;
It was you who allowed
The great animals to be killed;
It is you alone, responsible,
For the clank of iron,
The faulty rotation.

What then can one do, Life?
Is there no returning to the splendor?
Is their no means of returning to you
The heart of the bull,
The mane of the lion,
The wings of the eagle?

Yes, it is simple – I will give you the key:
You merely must do
As the snake does:
You must shed,
You must forget,
You must be reborn!
There is not one wheel
That does not have within it
The nucleus of new silver -
Of the profound spinning;
For I am still in all things working -
You only have to forget
And to remember -
Then as the phoenix
Will the dank iron of my death
Break loose in chunks and slivers -
Fly forth, revealing
The silver splendor,
The breathing of stars
The untouched turning,
The sweet music of the spinning
And the many drops of ocean like seedlings,
To bring for the generations,
To People the world with words
Of the stars’ own being -
Of the sweet music of the silver turning.