Friday, July 28, 2006

Taming Your Journals

It's okay to lift your pen away
from the flat white paper-face of
what-have-you. Probably
an emotionally needy diary
of some sort. Like wide-mouthed
hatchlings whining for a morsel,
they beg, and we, like sway-backed slaves
consent to labor, hefting heavy words in.
But its okay to let them go hungry.
Okay even to let them starve,
for a time, till their ribs show through
their dustjackets. Wait, I say, past
their desperate grimaces, past
even their final gasps. They will
inflate finally, in the fashion of the movies,
exhale dramatically and falter back,
keeping one eye always on you,
watching to see if you are watching.
Do not watch. Wait, and when
your empty notebooks, now
with tight stomachs and sharp jaw lines,
stand and dust their hands on their pants
and say "Fine then!" - then pounce,
and pin them down, whip out your pen,
tatoo them all over once again.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Barn Swallow Sonnet

The swallows dipped into the shallow pond
and scooped 1/2 teaspoon gulps of glossy blue
but didn't swallow. Instead, they ricocheted
back to the sky like feathered balls bounced off
a marble floor. Physics grinned, and as a prize
he pulled the droplets down each throated sluice
to tiny red translucent sacs. Yes, Light
passed through all parts of these iridescent
blue chips of wind-flint flung through summer air -
broken strips of stain glass window spun like discs
above the heads of wheat, lensing rainbows,
diamond-shaped, smooth. Even that tiny ball
of hydrogen glowed inside each swallow core
with a fierce and smoky sapphire light.


All men live in dim mines of coal.
The sun pulls in elastic strands
through cracks in the cavern walls
and men mostly dance about
in the dark, frantically heaping,
hoping to amount to something.
I am one of the misinformed breed
who sit in thin sun-shafts, pressing
one black lump between patient hands.
"As much a fool as Noah," the say.
"No, wait, watch," we reply
and we press, and hold, and wait.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Artist Temperment

All of my injuries come within an hour of commencing some new dangerous undertaking. Often less than an hour. There was kitchen duty at camp, and quad errands with my brother. Today it was table-sawing hard wood floor panels. Never done anything like that before - it was new and interesting. So was the 2 inch rota-gash I tore in the pad of my thumb.
I suppose being a poet, full of that tremulous artist temperment, I am prone to feelings of anxiety concerning my capacity to engage this world in a normal fashion.
Cutting my thumb, losing a days work, and general worry over money and relationships, makes me realize that I havent had any sort of plan of attack, you know, method, to my approach to societal success. I have floundered, as I once said, like a fish in a barrel of light. Even that metaphor is a sort of floundering - images splattered over a problem.
Ingenuity and dedication to a single problem is needed for success.
I don't know why I am writing these words.

We all want to air out our souls every once in awhile. This hasn't always been my goal in writing. My goal before, at times, was much more modern - you know, articulate some important truth to the masses.
I guess I am still aiming towards that. But tonight, through a feeling of anxiety, I am standing naked again in the field of the world, without any weapons, without any signs telling me where I might at least find some clothing. Feelings of security really change ones attitude toward ones place in the world. I remember times when I felt successful and secure, and it is so much easier to be confident about metaphysical ideas. Belief affected by mood, as it has been said.
I don't care for success in this world. I just want to feel secure - no, to know I am secure. I don't think I can feel it unless I know it - at least I hope I can't. And if faith can truly give that to me, despite how poor I am and what parts of my body I am currently tearing up, then I will cling to the gospel of the incarnate God, in Jesus Christ - I know we are spinning in the worlds bright darkness. I know that we all want this security. We all remember from our youth that we are going to die. We never forget it. We all know deep in are unspoken thoughts that at some point we are going to rota-drill a little too much flesh, and it will spell our end. Success is a pleasureable slap on the seat of your pants, and it leaves marks in the history books, yes, but we are going to die and be forgotten.

Life enternal. Been reading the psalms and in ecclesiates, and they treat death as an end. As if they will exist only nominally; no thought or consciousness. No sentience. Sinking down into sheol, where apparently everything is taken from a man. I realized when cutting my finger how okay with death I am - that is, when my heart is safe on the rock of the gospel.

I can't, obviously, continue in this constant rehashing of the problem. Lord have mercy on those whom you are calling to be men and women after your own heart.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

So Many Things

We are creatures of flesh and blood. We have muscles, and tendons, and skin. Hair. We can move. We consume organic material, i.e. plants and other creatures, for the transference of energy into ourselves from this material.
I was working in Dufur, Oregon all week. Here is a picture.

Beautiful, no? My soul found rest. My body found good hard work. My mind stayed quiet, and hummed to itself.
Been thinking (yeah, my mind never really stays quiet for long) about politics, and how a person can enter in to such a large, corrupt, dramatic, bureaucratic world when one is a small spatio/temporally confined creature. When one is not omnipotent or omniscient. Oh, it is like believing in anything; fighting for anything. It is never easy. It always demands faith and a clear-head. It always requires humility, and confidence, and a certain inexorable love of the world and its beauty - of wisdom.
If I ever find a way to say a single word concerning our nation, and the governing of our nation, and the proper ways of representing the different peoples of our nation, it will not be because someone puked their imprecise passions into my throat, and I have regurgitated it.
It will be because it has sprung up naturally in the field of my body as I have walked the narrow road.

"All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field." ~Albert Einstein

I am suddenly faced with the question: am I conservative? Am I trying to conserve the old ideas? Yes, I suppose, in so far as they partake in wisdom. Am I liberal? Am I open to new ideas and in-so-far as I am able to be, free from bigotry? Yes, I am open to new articulations of wisdom, and to being free myself from my own blindness.

Politics is the managing of the state, which is the union of a people and the representation of these people - a government for the people and by the people. And people are people - they are creatures of flesh and blood and bone and sinew, and they have minds - sentient, intelligent, and souled. Therefore, wisdom.

I love America, because she loves these ideas, or did, and was founded on principles which were made of these ideas. Is America a fat blind obnoxious beast now? Maybe. But in her youth she was strong and clear-headed and wise.

God, we humble ourselves before you, not thinking more highly of ourselves and our ideas than we know to be wise. If Bush is a wise man, then we have some sort of semblence of safety until his term is completed. If he is not a wise man, lets find a wise man and replace him. We are clever, no? We can find a way.

What is wisdom? I hear the question buzzing about my ears. Dang - I thought you'd ask that. If you dont know I cant tell you. Come to me in 40 years. I'll tell you the same thing, but more emphatically.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Hidden Thing Revealed

I always knew that it was there
so that when I suddenly stumbled upon it
in the middle of the sidewalk
I nearly tripped and broke my teeth
all out. Nearly bit my tongue in half.

Nearly tipped my head back
to release all the laughs
I’d been holding hostage.

“Is this then the ransom I’ve requested?”
I posed to the air above the spot, and
the laughs all crowded up to teeth
to peer through with me down to see
if indeed we’d found the thing
we always knew was there, and hiding.

“Is this the hidden thing, now in view?”
I flung the question out finely, like a philosopher,
like Demosthenes with his mouth chock full of
crystallized and quivering marbles
of pure joy. Trembling before the anticipated hatch.

“Shall we hatch then, damnit?!” I cried out for my comrades
now rolling madly about inside my mouth,
frenzied beasts in a zoo-cage riot.

Then, All the laughter in my mouth
got real quiet. I closed my eyes tight as clamshells,
keeping precious pearls safe - avoiding, if possible, unrequited
humor. Then craned my neck downward. Then
focused to my inner core. Then
with a planned and pregnant gesture of near Shakespearian melodrama

opened slowly to see the sidewalk,
and nothing more.

Naturally, I gaped,
shocked to find I had not found
the thing I’d planned on finding all along,

and naturally, when I gaped wide
the orbs sprung out in concert from inside my head
and bounced around the sidewalk
like brilliant rubber balls - red, green, violet -
each one the word
each one the song.