to AS, in memorium
Finding the nothing full, I bring myself back
to the day's page, the window's revealing expanse
of snow, bardos tamped down upon bardos ("it is not
possible to contract for a stay"), brittle leaves
which sign but do not speak, the frost, the graveyard
across the road leaking its supply of portents, jargons
of elegies, white words without issue, the swan
on thin ice, images which imbue, only to lend perfume
to the acrid taste of being countried outside a soul.
At midnight, Orion and the Dog Star swell in blackness.
And on clouded nights, no constellation and no consolation.
Intelligence unable to code another winter night which, like
a tunnel, leads back to a helplessness only a child should feel.
At the window, January's sparse glories:
ice crystals adhering to rocks,
also winter birds that never quite
belong in snow-struck landscapes--
they signal what burns up old mechanisms,
the rote cyclicals of seasons, routines
into which one-way time-bound bodies are cast.
Winter making one desire--that part of it
containing stars or blankets, anything memory
clings to or words rend open. Stagnant water
reflecting back ridges of heaped up ground.
An autumnal reflux embodying a sorrow
or hunger for unfixed space. Death imagined
as a motionless mode of contemplation.
This world, that--I know one
should stop. Tired eyes
should rise from inked blue
lines inscribed on yellow pad.
And that the eye should elect
this hovering blur which,
if one is tired enough, becomes
spectral green as though
through writing one came
again to a parkland.
Do you Atrust@ phenomena? Old literalist,
Blake=s guinea sun is mocking you.
These short days blend unawares into nights,
instructions in how to join the great poets.
O yon pillowed laughter! Yet somewhere,
a dog howls, and self-knowledge is suddenly
the heat of an immense banked fire. Gone now,
names sequent to things unnamed. The blank page
no mystery. Composition is, composition is....
Philosopher's stone, shrine room's hoardings.
Everything under the august calm of the sacred.
Still panic that one can't live to the smallest jot,
to the least syllable of the matter. Wasn't it called
ghost or haunting, an iota of someone left?
Remember the dead or must a kind of iotacism
be proposed? Homer long ago: each beat
of the line awash in Heraclitus's river.
Scouring words for the relieving aura,
breathing deeply old vocabularies of sea,
of pine, ever-present tinge of salt.
Panoply of stars, planets. But often
one can't find what is being searched for,
the galaxy seemingly drained of that covenant.
Thus is it written out for syntax's rules,
for the untranslatable memory of black holes,
for voice, for love and against concept.