Thursday, July 20, 2017

silently if, out of not knowable







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silently if, out of not knowable
night's utmost nothing,wanders a little guess
(only which is this world)more my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile
sings or if(spiralling as luminous
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss
losing through you what seemed myself,i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrow's own joys and hoping's very fears
yours is the light by which my spirit's born:
yours is the darkness of my soul's return
-you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars


–E. E. Cummings



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

i am a pause






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Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.

 
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.


All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can’t be touched.


Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.


Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.


The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.


I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.


The moment scatters. Motionless,  
I stay and go: I am a pause.


–Octavio Paz




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Patrick Lienin
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"I see black light." –Victor Hugo, last words







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Sometimes, underneath deep sleep
is a certain diffused glow,
as, in the rainforest, luminous toadstools
glow green among the leaf litter
and beetles crawl about with winking abdomens.

One night when I followed this glow
I came to an upturned tree
that was a kind of cathedral for glowworms
and the light beat against my face, my chest and my hands.

At the end of the corridor of sleep, a dream stands.

It may be that at the end of the corridor of death
there is the walking slightly uphill
through the green fields;

and then the light underneath sleep
is both in front and behind.


–John Tarrant




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wait - what
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

when god lets my body be







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when god lets my body be

From each brave eye shall sprout a tree
fruit dangles therefrom

the purpled world will dance upon
Between my lips which did sing

a rose shall beget the spring
that maidens whom passions wastes

will lay between their little breasts
My strong fingers beneath the snow

Into strenous birds shall go
my love walking in the grass

their wings will touch with their face
and all the while shall my heart be

With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea


–E. E. Cummings




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Friday, July 14, 2017

interval






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Instantaneous architectures
hanging over a pause,
apparitions neither named
nor thought, wind-forms,
insubstantial as time
and, like time, dissolved.

Made of time, they are not time;
they are the cleft, the interstice,
the brief vertigo of between
where the diaphanous flower opens:
high on its stalk of a reflection
it vanishes as it turns.

Never touched, the clarities
seen with the eyes closed:
transparent birth
and the crystalline fall
in the instant of this instant
that forever is still here.
 

Outside the window, the desolate
rooftops and the hurrying clouds.
The day goes out, the city
lights up, remote and near.
Weightless hour. I breathe
the moment, empty and eternal.


–Octavio Paz
Eliot Weinberger translation




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Thursday, July 13, 2017

listen



 

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Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear:

Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.


–Walter Savage Landor
(1775-1864)




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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

evolution






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When you were a tadpole and I was a fish
In the Paleozoic time,
And side by side on the ebbing tide
We sprawled through the ooze and slime,
Or skittered with many a caudal flip
Through the depths of the Cambrian fen,
My heart was rife with the joy of life,
For I loved you even then.

Mindless we lived and mindless we loved
And mindless at last we died;
And deep in the rift of the Caradoc drift
We slumbered side by side.
The world turned on in the lathe of time,
The hot lands heaved amain,
Till we caught our breath from the womb of death
And crept into light again.

We were amphibians, scaled and tailed,
And drab as a dead man's hand;
We coiled at ease 'neath the dripping trees
Or trailed through the mud and sand.
Croaking and blind, with our three-clawed feet
Writing a language dumb,
With never a spark in the empty dark
To hint at a life to come.

Yet happy we lived and happy we loved,
And happy we died once more;
Our forms were rolled in the clinging mold
Of a Neocomian shore.
The eons came and the eons fled
And the sleep that wrapped us fast
Was riven away in a newer day
And the night of death was past.

Then light and swift through the jungle trees
We swung in our airy flights,
Or breathed in the balms of the fronded palms
In the hush of the moonless nights;
And, oh! what beautiful years were there
When our hearts clung each to each;
When life was filled and our senses thrilled
In the first faint dawn of speech.

Thus life by life and love by love
We passed through the cycles strange,
And breath by breath and death by death
We followed the chain of change.
Till there came a time in the law of life
When over the nursing side
The shadows broke and soul awoke
In a strange, dim dream of God.

I was thewed like an Auruch bull
And tusked like the great cave bear;
And you, my sweet, from head to feet
Were gowned in your glorious hair.
Deep in the gloom of a fireless cave,
When the night fell o'er the plain
And the moon hung red o'er the river bed
We mumbled the bones of the slain.

I flaked a flint to a cutting edge
And shaped it with brutish craft;
I broke a shank from the woodland lank
And fitted it, head and haft;
Then I hid me close to the reedy tarn,
Where the mammoth came to drink;
Through the brawn and bone I drove the stone
And slew him upon the brink.

Loud I howled through the moonlit wastes,
Loud answered our kith and kin;
From west and east to the crimson feast
The clan came tramping in.
O'er joint and gristle and padded hoof
We fought and clawed and tore,
And check by jowl with many a growl
We talked the marvel o'er.

I carved that fight on a reindeer bone
With rude and hairy hand;
I pictured his fall on the cavern wall
That men might understand.
For we lived by blood and the right of might
Ere human laws were drawn,
And the age of sin did not begin
Till our brutal tush were gone.

And that was a million years ago
In a time that no man knows;
Yet here tonight in the mellow light
We sit at Delmonico's.
Your eyes are deep as the Devon springs,
Your hair is dark as jet,
Your years are few, your life is new,
Your soul untried, and yet -

Our trail is on the Kimmeridge clay
And the scarp of the Purbeck flags;
We have left our bones in the Bagshot stones
And deep in the Coralline crags;
Our love is old, our lives are old,
And death shall come amain;
Should it come today, what man may say
We shall not live again?

God wrought our souls from the Tremadoc beds
And furnished them wings to fly;
We sowed our spawn in the world's dim dawn,
And I know that it shall not die,
Though cities have sprung above the graves
Where the crook-bone men make war
And the oxwain creaks o'er the buried caves
Where the mummied mammoths are.

Then as we linger at luncheon here
O'er many a dainty dish,
Let us drink anew to the time when you
Were a tadpole and I was a fish.



–Langdon Smith



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