eternalmists: (give me stars)
WORD FOG

Words, even if they come from the soul, hide the soul,
as fog rising off the sea covers the sea,
the coast, the fish, the pearls.

It is noble work to build philosophical discourses,
but they do block out the sun of truth.

See God's qualities as an ocean.
This world is foam on the purity of that.
Brush it away and look through the alphabet to essence,
as you do the hair covering your beloved's eyes.

Here is the mystery:
This intricate, astonishing world is proof
of God's presence even as it covers the beauty.

One flake from the wall of a gold mine
does not give much idea what it is like
when the sun shines down inside
and turns the air and the workers golden.
eternalmists: (Default)

"Her skin is white cloth,

and she’s all sewn apart
and she has many colored pins
sticking out of her heart.

She has many different zombies
who are deeply in her trance.
She even has a zombie
who was originally from France.

But she knows she has a curse on her,
a curse she cannot win.
For if someone gets
too close to her,

the pins stick farther in."

  - - Tim Burton - -
eternalmists: (Default)
You work with what you are given,
the red clay of grief,
the black clay of stubbornness going on after.
Clay that tastes of care or carelessness,
clay that smells of the bottoms of rivers or dust.

Each thought is a life you have lived or failed to live,
each word is a dish you have eaten or left on the table,
There are honeys so bitter
no one would willingly choose to take them.
The clay takes them: honey of weariness, honey of vanity,
honey of cruelty, fear.

This rebus -- slip and stubbornness,
bottom of river, my own consumed life --
when will I learn to read it
plainly, slowly, uncolored by hope or desire?
Not to understand it, only to see.

As water given sugar sweetens, given salt grows salty,
we become our choices.
Each yes, each no continues,
this one a ladder, that one an anvil or cup.

The ladder leans into its darkness.
The anvil leans into its silence.
The cup sits empty.

How can I enter this question the clay has asked?
eternalmists: (Default)
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's
Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota - James Wright

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,

Asleep on the black trunk,

blowing like a leaf in green shadow.

Down the ravine behind the empty house,

The cowbells follow one another

Into the distances of the afternoon.

To my right,

In a field of sunlight between two pines,

The droppings of last year's horses

Blaze up into golden stones.

I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.

A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.

I have wasted my life.

eternalmists: (shine on)

The Prophet

And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain."

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break,
that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life,
your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart,
even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of
the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge."

And he answered, saying:

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.

But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.

You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.

You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.

The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;

And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;

And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.

For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."

Say not, "I have found the path of the soul."
Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."

For the soul walks upon all paths.

The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
eternalmists: (Default)
I. we came back to our homes broken,
weak in the limbs, mouths ravaged
 ...
plunged into mists by immaculate wings of swans
which wounded us.
In the winter nights the strong wind from the east maddened us.
In the summer we were lost in the agony of the day that wouldn't die.

II. once it was easy...
to give pleasure to the friends who still remain faithful to us.
the ropes have broken now; only their marks on the well's mouth
Remind us of our departed happiness:

III. It was falling into the dream as I rose from the dream
and so our lives grew one, hard now to be seperated.

I peer into the eyes, neither shur nor open,
I speak to the mouth, which is always trying to speak,
I hold the cheeks which have grown beyond the skin.
I can do no more.

my hands are lost, my hands come back to me,
maimed

IV.
and for the soul
if it is to know itself
it is into a soul
that it must look.
the stranger and the enemy, we have seen him in the mirror.

if it is to know itself, they used to say,
it is into a soul it must look, they used to say.

VI. You will not breath; the earth & the sap of the trees
will rush from your memory to beat upon
This pane of glass beaten upon by the rain
From the world outside

And who will lift this sorrow from our hearts?

IX. if I wished to stay by myself, I desired to find
solitude, I did not desire such endless waiting,
the scattering of my soul to the horizon,
these lines, these colours, this silence.

X. on Sundays down to the harbor for a breath of air,
we see, lit by the sunset,
the broken timbers of unfinished journeys,
Bodies that know no longer how to love.

XI.  your blood froze sometimes like the moon.
eternalmists: (Default)
I'd like to share some beautiful poetry that I've
been reading, by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi.

how very close

is your soul with mine

i know for sure

everything you think

goes through my mind

 

i am with you

now and doomsday

not like a host

caring for you

at a feast alone

 

with you i am happy

all the times

the time i offer my life

or the time

you gift me your love

 

offering my life

is a profitable venture

each life i give

you pay in turn

a hundred lives again

 

in this house

there are a thousand

dead and still souls

making you stay

as this will be yours

 

a handful of earth

cries aloud

i used to be hair or

i used to be bones

 

and just the moment

when you are all confused

leaps forth a voice

hold me close

i'm love and

i'm always yours

(ghazal number 1515, translated by Nader Khalili)

eternalmists: (Default)
& I thought I would share . . .


And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge."

And he answered, saying:

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.

But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.

You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.

You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.
eternalmists: (Default)
A strong woman is a woman who is straining.
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tip toe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing Boris Godunov.
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talks about
how she doesn't mind crying, it opens
the ducts of her eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears in her nose.

A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren't you feminine, why aren't
you soft, why aren't you quiet, why
aren't you dead?

A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not to be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way though a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you're so strong.

A strong woman is a woman bleeding inside.
A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now every battle a scar.
A strong woman is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.

A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs.
A strong woman is strong in words,
in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
sucking her young. Strength is not in her,but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains, flowing through us.
Strong is what we make together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.
eternalmists: (Default)
You cannot write a single line w/out a cosmology
a cosmogony
laid out, before all eyes

there is no part of yourself you can separate out
saying, this is memory, this is sensation
this is the work I care about, this is how I
make a living

it is whole, it is a whole, it always was whole
you do not "make" it so
there is nothing to integrate, you are a presence
you are an appendage of the work, the work stems from
hangs from the heaven you create

every man / every woman carries a firmament inside
& the stars in it are not the stars in the sky

w/out imagination there is no memory
w/out imagination there is no sensation
w/out imagination there is no will, desire

history is a living weapon in yr hand
& you have imagined it, it is thus that you
"find out for yourself"
history is the dream of what can be, it is
the relation between things in a continuum

of imagination
what you find out for yourself is what you select
out of an infinite sea of possibility
no one can inhabit yr world

yet it is not lonely,
the ground of imagination is fearlessness
discourse is a video tape of a movie of a shadow play
but the puppets are in yr hand
your counters in a multidimensional chess
which is divination
& strategy

the war that matters is the war against the imagination
all other wars are subsumed in it.

the ultimate famine is the starvation
of the imagination

it is death to be sure, but the undead
seek to inhabit someone else's world

the ultimate claustrophobia is the syllogism
the ultimate claustrophobia is "it all adds up"
nothing adds up & nothing stands in for
anything else

THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST
THE IMAGINATION

THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST
THE IMAGINATION
THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST
THE IMAGINATION
ALL OTHER WARS ARE SUBSUMED IN IT

There is no way out of a spiritual battle
There is no way you can avoid taking sides
There is no way you can not have a poetics
no matter what you do: plumber, baker, teacher

you do it in the consciousness of making
or not making yr world
you have a poetics: you step into the world
like a suit of readymade clothes

or you etch in light
your firmament spills into the shape of your room
the shape of the poem, of yr body, of yr loves

A woman's life / a man's life is an allegory

Dig it

There is no way out of the spiritual battle
the war is the war against the imagination
you can't sign up as a conscientious objector

the war of the worlds hangs here, right now, in the balance
it is a war for this world, to keep it
a vale of soul-making

the taste in all our mouths is the taste of power
and it is bitter as death

bring yr self home to yrself, enter the garden
the guy at the gate w/ the flaming sword is yrself

the war is the war for the human imagination
and no one can fight it but you/ & no one can fight it for you

The imagination is not only holy, it is precise
it is not only fierce, it is practical
men die everyday for the lack of it,
it is vast & elegant

intellectus means "light of the mind"
it is not discourse it is not even language
the inner sun

the polis is constellated around the sun
the fire is central
eternalmists: (Default)


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Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shit out through wholesome
American guts.


Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen,
feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for
Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where
nobody's allowed to mind his
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
memories-- all right let's see
your arms!

You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.
eternalmists: (bleed into me)

read for the first time about 10 minutes ago.
and for some reason, i feel deeply touched.





This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
Still,
there are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women's hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes, and think of water.

eternalmists: (Default)
I

began and did not terminate for 42 days

and 42 nights relentless minute after minute

more than 110,000 times

we bombed Iraq we bombed Baghdad

we bombed Basra/we bombed military

installations we bombed the National Museum

we bombed schools we bombed air raid

shelters we bombed water we bombed

electricity we bombed hospitals we

bombed streets we bombed highways

we bombed everything that moved/we

bombed everything that did not move we

bombed Baghdad

a city of 5.5 million human beings

we bombed radio towers we bombed

telephone poles we bombed mosques

we bombed runways we bombed tanks

we bombed trucks we bombed cars we bombed bridges

we bombed the darkness we bombed

the sunlight we bombed them and we

bombed them and we cluster bombed the citizens

of Iraq and we sulfur bombed the citizens of Iraq

and we napalm bombed the citizens of Iraq and we

complemented these bombings/ these "sorties" with

Tomahawk cruise missiles which we shot

repeatedly by the thousands upon thousands

into Iraq

(you understand an Iraqi Scud missile

is quote militarily insignificant unquote and we

do not mess around with insignificant)

so we used cruise missiles repeatedly

we fired them into Iraq

And I am not pleased

I am not very pleased

None of this fits into my notion of "things going very

well"

II

The bombing of Baghdad

did not obliterate the distance or the time

between my body and the breath

of my beloved


III

This was Custer's Next-To-Last Stand

I hear Crazy Horse singing as he dies

I dedicate myself to learn that song

I hear that music in the moaning of the Arab world


IV

Custer got accustomed to just doing his job

Pushing westward into glory

Making promises

Searching for the savages/their fragile

Temporary settlements

For raising children/dancing down the rain/and praying

For the mercy of a heard of buffalo

Custer/he pursued these savages

He attacked at dawn

He murdered the men/murdered the boys

He captured the women and converted

them (I'm sure)

to his religion

Oh, how gently did he bid his darling fiancée

farewell!

How sweet the gaze her eyes bestowed upon her warrior!

Loaded with guns and gunpowder he embraced

the guts and gore of manifest white destiny

He pushed westward

to annihilate the savages

("Attack at dawn!")

and seize their territories

seize their women

seize their natural wealth


V

And I am cheering for the arrows

and the braves


VI

And all who believed some must die

they were already dead

And all who believe only they possess

human being and therefore human rights

they no longer stood among the possibly humane

And all who believed that retaliation/revenge/defense

derive from God-given prerogative of white men

And all who believed that waging war is anything

beside terrorist activity in the first

place and in the last

And all who believed that F-15's/F-16's/"Apache"

helicopters/

B-52 bombers/smart bombs/dumb bombs/napalm/artillery/

battleships/nuclear warheads amount to anything other

than terrorist tools of a terrorist undertaking

And all who believed that holocaust means something

that happens only to white people

And all who believed that Desert Storm

signified anything besides the delivery of and American

holocaust against the peoples of the Middle East

All who believed these things

they were already dead

They no longer stood among the possibly humane

And this is for Crazy Horse singing as he dies

because I live inside his grave

And this is for the victims of the bombing of Baghdad

because the enemy traveled from my house

to blast your homeland

into pieces of children

into pieces of sand

And in the aftermath of carnage

perpetrated in my name

how should I dare to offer you my hand

how shall I negotiate the implications

of my shame?

My heart cannot confront

this death without relief

My soul will not control

this leaking of my grief

And this is for Crazy Horse singing as he dies

And here is my song of the living

who must sing against the dying

sing to join the living

with the dead
eternalmists: (my soul)
i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while

so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be part of beauty
for one instant and then to cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is to come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself
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