yes to slate I am made of you.
yes to silk it is strong & flexible & it turns the light inside out.
yes to water how can I resist you when you call me with your liquid tongue?
& yes to the tree corpse you are shaping to hold some body
yes to the sawdust smell of your hands
& yes to all this witchcraft of remembering
yes to the pulp mill steam rising from the morning
I cannot choose which sense to abandon —
not the eyes of sight
never the skin of touch
not the tongue of taste
nor the highway nose
never the ears of song
& these pieces
this wood (yes)
this water (yes)
this slate (yes)
this silk (yes)
this memory (yes)
have conspired to keep a secret from us
but feelings aren’t facts.
maybe it’s all addition (+)
all multiplication (x)
all more than we can survive (∞)
maybe searching through all this living for some balanced equation is pointless
& yet all this thinking — analysis — probing — dissection
seems compulsory when faced with such large integers
even divorce is not division
even death is not subtraction
we are working with imaginary numbers & faulty syntax
grasping for some variable greater than, equal to, & less than zero.
(>, =, & < 0)
the hunger of split types
when we phase towards shadow
baffled by the absence of light
wholeness in this mildewed paper
whole and whole again in the sun
capsules of chemical union on our tongues
& in all this: a longing
a desire for a union beyond union
a return to our origin
unaided by chemistry
I often wonder what the archeologist would find
if all the words were scraped away from me
shedding songs & stories
revealing the naked unknown within
bare of all poems and quotations,
an entire thesaurus stripped from the crust
there are ways the self is wholly unlike the earth
from outside to inside:
& yet you are here—
looking into my liquid eyes
as if unafraid
of what lives here
— towards the outer core —
as if you want to know
what’s beneath all these words
The Outpost gets quiet sometimes. & I’ll use that time to scribble out these signals to you (dear one, abstract as you are). Sometimes it gets lonely out here at the edge of time & space. I have to reach out. We are more than our jobs after all. & sometimes I just have to reach out.
You see, The Outpost isn’t far away (from you, abstract reader, wherever you are) but it’s somewhere you have to show up to. You have to seek to arrive. You have to keep asking to find it again.
& that’s how (many years ago — or was it this morning? — or maybe sometime this week) I find myself working as Typist #2721FE or “just another dreamer” in this place where the light of every god is indistinguishable from the light of my own.
this place where memory moves like reptilian scales through the cosmic dust storms
this place where the rain tastes like rosewater & the cities are built of ash
this place where the wind takes her due & the black blossoms of rainclouds pantomime ancient stories that slip through the cracks of reality
call us all
to look at the sky
What does it mean to be grateful for pain?
I read recently that all of philosophy is not worth one hour of pain — but really?
What do we fear in this pain?
that it will never end
that it will erase us
that it will kill us
& yet, physiologically, chemically, there is value in this shift
pain reminds us that we are alive
that we’re capable of feeling
that we are not yet dead
but deeper than that, on some unnameable plane, pain ties us back into the tapestry of humanity
knot by knot
thread by thread
fiber by fiber
weave me back into the fabric of We
I am weak from separation
Mother I can see you: dark as raincloud
Father I can hear you: deep as thunder
your child is coming home
all pain & lightning & pressure
Swallow me. I beg of you.
Riddle me this: in all these shapes & colors & sounds, in these tricks of the light and curves in space, in the sense organs that perceive them and the twisted walnut flesh curve that interprets them, in the hallways of memory & the attics of forgetting,
do we get one single change to grasp at anything like the Truth?
The Truth we worship and hunt, we ignore and we invent,
with our flawed instruments we rewrite it in remembering.
we feel it at the tips of our fingers and we clutch with nails ragged from peeling back our eyelids.
we fear we will destroy it with our flaws.
(can it be held? do we crush it in our attempts at comprehension?)
what if we are the instruments and it imprints itself upon us– yawning and crooked as we are; what if we are the ones being rewritten.
Abstract as it is. Capitalized or left humble,
IT is bigger than us.
Truth lets us pretend we do the hunting.