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1 . MORNING
The year and its
as like as eggs,
in their crates of season
we break open
and the yolk
of fresh sun we scramble
the runny light into
of the night's winter
helping of the fast.
set out for the early
meal of season—
sit the house yards
parks down together
to this spring as
to a table
in order just
good to see
your way found
The arriving coats of smell
are hung in the air, butt-smacked and
oiled babies of moment;
and years of taste as touch
hug the senses
to the living;
sweet sour bitter salty
some never experienced
again, the gloved fingers
of bananas so briefly kissed
with ripeness; fruit,
brought to the tongue,
the finished taste
of words, an aftertaste
of silence, the morning
glories we haven't tasted
life, as lasting as any one
sense, a taste
a sight, an orange mix
of kiss with sweetness
for the moment
it exists, finishes and
is swallowed, is also those
who finish hungry or starve
to death which swallows;
the final stage of rattlesnake bite
is yellow vision,
light, then you both go out.
Fear, to the tongue, is metallic: I tasted
a copper penny it could have been
a one-time and final, incomparable
—How does life taste
to one condemned
in that cup this morning?—
flash of a taste;
a touch's backbeat, that single shake
in the whole
coital dance that whiff of ?
a one-time and final taste
taste this morning
2. DEEP TIME
Where trees are a sky
whose spider web
the rhythmic static
a song arrives
that died leaving
seventeen years ago.
whose cloud and Milky Way
and heard but unseen
insect star births
have yet to reach us from—
refract the sun
through to brilliant spiked
explosions of nova
in this hiss
day our own
insect sun will make
in deep time into deepsong.
A child already an old man
sits in a rocking chair in the yard
facing into the shadow side
of four elms down the end of the block.
He's heard but hears them for the first time
as the cicadas he's looking for just one
bowing its wings with its legs
as he's been told they do he wants to see.
The sun lowering
on the opposite side of the trees
pierces through burning open holes in spaces
brilliant prismatic explosions.
He thinks this is how cicadas' sound
speakers look hooked up to the sky
through the trees refractive, light show
to the music & this evening is their show
the cataclysmic novas nebulae
4. LUNAR ECLIPSE
You've seen only a planed circle of moon,
the white wafer; the low sky's flat penny
grow into that dime, flipped in the turn
taken by the earth,
until you see
what's won from behind its veil of brightness
by the lunar eclipse
a red marble,
a pinball of blood and it's your shot, a ball
of red clay before its pinch into a bowl,
what I want to say and its look
that far away from it.
I want to say it suddenly
turns three dimensional with shadow
shaded in at the drawn
and that darkness
makes shape-informed light clearer rounding out
midnight, and moon,
once it is that lighted ball,
falls above a night now floored with depth
so dark above you you can feel the feet
and meter fill with time. New Years confetti each
speck's fall a galaxy ago back into space.
Space back into space restored beneath the moon
to here in the shading of eclipse. The distances.
We have to feel the spatial in what we see
to see clearly the eye measure in hands and feet;
as when we kiss,
distance disappears, our eyes close,
and we see bodily
in raised detail
a measure deepen into our world
in each other. And what we are
in the shadow the world makes
of our love, by this earth shine, we see
ourselves whole, see in whole perspective.
The plane begins its descent into Newark from the west
at the Delaware Water Gap; the whole width
of the state of New Jersey is the base of a triangle
underlying that approach to its point.
Geography test, problem off the wall
to the ground, whole highway systems
unfold again below, the maps we rode. But at
what point did we become so familiar with
such long perspective we could look down
and recognize the pile of Denver by the drop off
and crumble of the plate up into the Rockies,
or say That's Detroit! by the link of lakes by
Lake St. Clair some thirty-thousand feet
above Lake Erie while just barely spotting Huron
on the horizon?
Some earlier hunter had a similar picture in his head
for getting around, and what he saw seems map
his feet figured what a Boeing 757
picks up and puts down pacing off
my passing through the world by air.
But we've seen the ground ball up into one
step and stand on nothing else, our footing in
the vacuum, diminished sky of solar space.
Yet we haven't seen again his vision, haven't yet
dreamt from it even such map as he had
hunted by; we haven't seen answered from that garden's
gazing ball whether there is direction after all
have been hunted to circumference. Like trained bear
dancing on a circus ball, we look down, our feet in a step
from which there is no step off,
this footprint all of step ever taken.
The hunted step, kept far and fast enough
away from the hunter to keep the distance of its life,
shortens to none between them or is that
shit outcome stepped in, become their one,
in perspective, step from which there is no step out of.
In that sense of "the surface over which
a phenomenon exists," the earth is the footprint of life.
Gaia's gravity-swayed steps take on orbit,
we in the tropic of balance, in a basket
on her head, a blue wrap of sky, sun
ripens the thin rind of the plane to home.
Sweet fruit of the journey, of all journey,
fruit of all step home is the sweet fruit
that is all of step that is ever taken.
The earth is all of step ever taken
by most of us, we think; but the aisles of air
we walk about with the seatbelt sign off
hang off our backs angel's wing or motion
lines such as drawn in cartoons or the tesseract
of four dimensions. Cube sunk in a square of space,
sunk in a space of time. Our cubed world
worn as a helmet among
strung dimensions far distant enough to see
the ball that all our ways are woven from:
sand, the lens grinder's patient hand, sore elbow, head
in the stars, he looks down at his feet. Sunk in time,
the footprint of life is death, the grave
there is no step out of, the compost earth.
The earth is the footprint of life.
6. MANY LOCATIONS
Many locations now are ahead of
humanly possible without conduct
through a technology;
we live not yet
caught up with ourselves, the landings offset
by foot pace their space-time for ground transportation.
Unlike stars whose fact is a presumption
of departure or arrival other
than in lived light, we're less than when we are.
We're dated within histories of make
in order to be made whole;
we body age
in our times' prosthesis of achievement
as our time;
as our years, our state's moment,
a birth condition, enlarges or wastes us,
the long sentenced swing, instantaneous.
7. THE $$-MEN
The bus as technological magic
shoes, the plane, a flying suit not in the style
of tights and cape, more comfortable,
but shared, like the chevron of flying geese
shares in that wake the one at the point makes;
we support our super powers flapping
almost in unison, our money down.
The instant though, is ours: Euclidean
point without space, taking place as from.
If it were location, anything there
is not the point.—It is
position in relation
more to other yet-positions more
that is everywhere nowhere until pointed
out: we have no point until we have to
see say where how far
another is to or from us
renewed: Call me.
The call made is also in its way
how point also has to be limited
& in limiting . . . challenged . . .
What are you doing? . . . . .
always in process; point
9. OLD DEPENDENCY
a satellite passes overhead
between the least imperious hours
of 2 and 5 am.
A signal picked up from Colorado
beams a setting for the time
in Chicago back to earth.
My watch sits meditating, on the sill,
faces out the window at tonight's
It is built for a connection I am not
that it passes on when I aim at it
my time pickup
eye the set I need; and off the knees of its clasp
wristband folded underneath,
a timing sun's worshipper—
since I've forgotten how the sunrise set
men's cycles— listens to its crystal
break time down,
its atom tune the seconds . . . Our body's
band to the watched face of the sun,
who tells the wake and sleep,
comes in the style of our skin. That close
a melanin-melatonin connection. Yet here's an inorganic
connecting a crystal oscillation through
a radio wave in orbit to
setting itself to set my day.
Gemstone cut music on my arm as if
intravenous, cesium vibration, piped
broadcast, drum hour to my heart,
let this renew an old interpretation
how we could talk
to rock, listen to plants explain
in the stomach what membranous
is the dawn star with ear of corn;
the watch, its passage, and waking flesh
working to live in time.
10. PROTO-PYRAMID FIGURE
Re-noticing the lines of the furrows
he had plowed each the same space apart
nearing together on the other side
of the field he felt the figure
of the eye through a road drawing away
perspective disappear to not yet seen
those lines of the ground his bargain
for their food with time kept uncrossed:
he noticed their opposite come here
At the end of the day out of the clouds
The furrowed light turned over dark lined up
and came together in the blue
behind a field of sky he could see across
see the road
of where things come from the mountain
to the sky they must go up and down
11. WHAT WORD
The fat spoiled cat of fish, the carp, pampered
in the garden pool, surfaces: a bubble
in the level lines of a purr.
The mirror water vibrates: the mouth's breath,
a spoken surface as thought, a soundless word
balloon of concentration breaks.
The spoken world rubs against you to own you as,
as the cat does, one of it. A placement.
Your smile, your pool of sight touched awake.
The wakened world's submarines
—our ideologies' spoiled fish—
lift their scale-less indulgences
that our intelligence lays on the tongue
of the silence of death, this dragon's breath
freshener of nuclear fire—
And one of these lozenges, we find out
this morning, may lie open at the bottom of the sea
smashed burst bubble of our technological
and all that is surfacing may be
our leviathan of threat to each other
we recognize— this caught breath almost a silent
language among us.
And what has the bubble burst out with
on its breath? The wakened world.
of the living as any longer one of
it is tethered to this brought to the surface,
mouthed breath-clapper in a metal bell,
like the earth's resuscitant bubble of atmosphere,
balling yarn of the planet's one held breath
rolled 'round in as spoiling a lap of orbit
as any swaddled garden pool wove of our
meditations and sun-like surfacing thought.
And the burst bubble of that concentration?—
What is the open it touches against us?
What claim of we as one of do the dead
bring up even lifted in a joined arms of states?
Bast, the feline brush by of that cartouche
of breath is the hope of life sucked back
into the born flesh.
breath break that wakens . . . and we would rise
. . .
All connection to us is made surface
microscopic through into,
telescopic out; matter surfaces
as some tympanic resonance, word snares
on breath, the touch on press
. . .
The pool of a dead face doesn't stir.
There is no longer even a level
rise or fall of balance.
The oceans of the time men don't exist
include only a drop that we do
above them another ocean's spray of stars.