1. Ryukyu Islands
I have this post colonialist/neo-colonialist bug in my ear. Everything I hear kind of comes in though that buzz. Excuse me.
And the fields of rippling green, like piano trills descending sliding down scales, sunlight arpeggios spilling over each sharp razor blade of grass. Fluorescent yellow. Streaks of light falling over the soft slopping hillsides and racing like flash bulbs exploding and disappearing back into the thickets of trees that clump around the edges of the immense horizons. Snakes. Long fading serpentine snakes of sunspot ignition radiance. Memory. Bursting. Berkeley top shot. Smears of colors that rest, glinting on the careful insides of leaves, like lanterns hanging, swinging on the bony branches. Casually. There is an illumination here. A drop of pigmentation. A wild breeze, a wind sigh. A cluster of stimuli. A hard brink, a verge, an edge to cling to.
Such certain souls, delirious, a’ stroll on the careful village greens, little blinking sleep in their eyes, washing paper in the sink. Huddled bunches of visions and dirt swirling around the drain, heads full of every nonsense thought, no two things connecting. No two things adding up. No melody to the song.
It is our curse now to haunt haunt haunt this world, the last plastered little ghosts of human civilization. And as long as we cling, as long as we cherish, these relics, these fossil things, petrified fixations, packed away in the old hall closets, dusty…
As long as we clutch
As long as we revere
Coming up over the hills like sunrise, we mouth the words.
We used to fear spiders as vampires, the wild predatory cats in the jungle as demons.
And around campfires, we spilled our fears into words and told tales and taught ourselves to never be afraid. Expanding our lobes, growing. Actually evolving our brains with language and imagination…until genius. And as genius, we fear nothing. Nothing but the other. And now we have only to fear the other human beings and so the old tribal re-emerges, all those old primitive urges. So we gather up to dispel and you can see it happening in every corner of this world.
By total immersion (into humanity)
By total surrender (to all appetites)
By great barbarity (we give up)
By awful terror (we inoculate)
By ridiculous diversion (we conceal)
By total warfare (we annihilate)
By boundless charity (we placate)
And here we are
Banging our drums together.
2. Bryn Mawr Students discuss Architecture
It’s the isotope Megiddo, a little burr in our cell walls, makes us the apocalyptic sort
Also gives us eyesight
usually confused for spiritual insight.
But you look up and you get a little glint in your eyes, everything is so gold and so bright.
And things get so easily blurred, all sorts of lights and halos of light, ringlets.
And you look up
And you look up into the sky and it is like an eagle is the sun,
A big ole bird filled with avian light,
Two big wings, one for morning
And one for night.
And we mistake the dark under shadow of its passing flight
for something other than a collections of stars and nonwaking hours
So everything is dream, nothing but dust gathered in the seams.
Everything is sleep.
We dig down and we struggle to pull to the surface
Because everyone needs air to breathe
Everything fire needs oxygen to burn
There is something in our blood
That flows this way.
From mountain down to the ocean.
Life, rain, water, city skyline…
It should pull you.
I’d be a flicker, if I were a light inside a dark red glass votive candle holder,
Casting those long shadows across the plain white table cloth
Maybe straying a little at the tips and rolling, curled up the slight sides of the walls around.
Thin, so thin.
Under the skin
But over the bones
Holding us together
Tying up our joints
And pulling us taunt.
That’s the kind of fire I’d be…
It should pull you…
Spires, spires remind the eye of fire, flame…
Something evocative, something unique should quickly come to mind…
And we drag ourselves through these platonic streets at dawn,
At first light, at evening sunset, at nightfall.
Every block surrounded by traffic, every one a insular little kingdom,
A retrovirus in every window, a new TV, Italian shoes,
Images stretched out thin over the surface of the glass.
That’s the kind of daybreak it should be…
3. Ain Soph
I lived my life, one dumb animal amongst a hundred million other dumb animals. They never noticed me.
So reads the post script of every once living story.
Now let us make careful count of every star in the sky, so to register completely our dwindling, our irrelevance.
I have the taste on my lips.
Let us go, every one of us, over the top of mountains, above the pits of hell, so to comprehend the pitch of the descend.
Right before our eyes.
In these cautious ways, warily aware, we may make of ourselves something responsive, weave a fabric around us
Contemplation of the hollowness, the vacuumness, the Ain Sophness, the nightness, the tiny prick of light in the hyperactive darkness, the pinpoint of significance superimposed over the awful comfortable insignificance. It is our observation of it, the wavering glow staring backwards at our wavering glow, a blurred brightness in the deep.
It is the deep, the big blue deep after all, and the unfathomable will put its cold cephalopod arms around you and drown you down or else you will learn to swim but even still you will eventually sink. That’s just how this ocean world moves.
In this world they keep rows and rows of old Georgian houses, crumbling grey facades. In this world they keep lines and lines of perfectly engineered streets, sidewalks and alleyways. In this world they keep vernaculars and trolley cars that climb the steep sides of mountain Earth. They keep aeroplanes and helicopters high in the thin air, they keep cold air conditioning units blowing in the blistering heat of Sonoran Deserts. In this world they keep alive in the long tentacle arms of municipal sprawls. In this world they keep awake at night inundated in resource consuming light.
And everywhere you look, you can see the dinosaurs, the bodies and the bones. The mastodons, the mammoths, the ice age relics, the fossilized remains, stalk and stem. Little grimy trilobites from off some dead ocean floor, all dusty dry now.
So let us make a careful count.
4. The Reverend Newnan on the Mind of the Skeptic.
“First of all I detest all of this poetry shit, so don’t try to come at me with that. Listen, I can’t even stand to read that Byron and Shelley drivel or anything Modern either, it’s no better, a bunch of gibberish noise with a handful of filthy words, don’t ever add up to anything. I wanted to be Dalton Trumbo. I wanted to be Dashiell Hammett.”
We all are just nothing. Nothing at all. Except of course what we are to another. a little flicker of light out the corner of the eye. A quick observation. A flash bulb. An ember flare. A fear.
Don’t ever forget.
Nothing at all, nothing but skin and bone, a little marionette puppet waiting limp for some unbelievable soul to pick up the strings. Make us move.
But no sir, not me. I’m not that at all. I’m a blank white sheet of paper all overgrown with ink marks and fingerprint smudges, pin lines running up the sides like creeping vines and Strangler Figs. We’d both collapse…
I’m no better.
It’s the plastic covering everything. It’s the rape as weapon of war. It’s the little grey boxes in the corner of every room blathering away. It’s so much. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s the unconceivable suffering. It’s the rapidity of life. It’s the way it creeps away. It’s the clinging barbarity. It’s the unpredictability.
Don’t ever forget.
5. Coldstream Guards, two by two
I am regimental with my habits, every little tick, every little crumb. Down inside the deep deep pockets of my long brown coat, close to the split seam and the ensuing tiny hole, is a small smooth rock. I must touch it every daybreak, put it in my palm, my palm inside my pocket and let it drop, plummeting like jangling change
as soon as morning breaks, summer or winter, as soon as the sun comes up over the hills.
As soon as I wake