Can we slow down? I awaken before morning with a faint title suspended– A Users Guide to the Sublime— and the idle desire to manufacture a manual for the artful navigation of non-ordinary space. But it is all symbol and all metaphor and I am wary of the human tendency to literalize; to reify; to take the language of anything of as sacrosanct. Better remove, better undo, better refine.
We are not eternal but the animating forces that move us are. The thrill in opening to them; in soaring like a sailbird along various and unseen planes; in the breathtaking brevity of life in this form.
Shower. Downstairs. Outside. Turning on the grill in the still-dark morning, the background dusted with ash from the wildfires, the magic of propane and the sudden rush of flame. The sear of meat and the sharpness of black coffee, breath hanging in dragon-clouds and mixing with the steam. I continue to love the mornings here, cold and peopled only with the lingering figures of dreams, breathing on my hands until the red beacon of the sun starts to crawl slowly upward through the smoke-hazed dawn.
Nineteen years ago; the world is again and still aflame. But there is nothing to say about this. I am so tired of theory and conspiracy and construct; I want what is felt in the viscera. Solace in the body and fire and blood, in wet grass in the fist and the feeling of bitten skin. This morning I feel my cold feet on the wet concrete, the smell of propane hissing from the grill, the sear of meat- fire echoing fire; fire licking flesh- and wonder if the soul is ever sated.
A split lip; a split infinitive;
a hairline fracture to slyly
bridle the chain.
Where are the years of striated agate,
of asphalt gritted in the knee?
Soft soft the must of goosedown & dust,
the muffled weathered fur.
Soft soft the animal newness of toothless
mewling for milk.
Soft soft the finger slipped inside
the sweet salt ripening of another
sighing body. Softer the cry of voice.
These are theories
for what the tongue does with words.
These are lavish explanations
for the prehensile absurdity
of the idea of a knowable universe.
These are pigeon-toed foxes chirruping
over scavenged remains.
This is a myth of revelation no one dares
Sweet one why must anything
Sweet one why the torn & scrambling paws?
There can be no certainty on an infinite plane.
Touch the answer
and a proliferation of lunacy wriggles forth
like maggots from the skin. The absolute
cascades of laughter.
The world is being swept by a slow pandemic and we are all being asked to stay home and all I can feel is the Earth shuddering a sigh of pure pleasure beneath the panic of human restraint. It is the bliss of the breathing of oceans; the spaciousness of a global pause; a rippling shiver through the being to which we all inextricably belong.
Tonight I spent on a call with quarantined beings from all over the planet, and the tenderness of the community and creativity and the art that has already emerged through this briefest of pauses was enough to fill a galaxy of human hearts.
I recall the only true response to the unknown is wonder.
There is a beauty to the notes of those who were forced to stutter through a litany of countries and cultures as children, or who from a young age found themselves inhabiting high-stakes identities that forced a double life, or who are well-versed in the art of creating mosaics out of trauma.
There is a beauty to knowing what it is to have a self that bleeds beyond the shattered worldview that was originally intended to hold it.
There is a beauty to knowing what it is to shrug off the known.