this point/he sees that he has written pain for paint and it works better
(Tom Raworth, from ‘South America’)
along the way, it was. Inveigled in a hymn. Listen because that is the way I mean it a hymn or a column. List of the small, the onlys. Keys, tie, chocolate, my wife, Miami, a photo in the glove box: sons. There’s a maiming to work out. I went desolate and rich to a hotel/church thing last week. Anselm of Canterbury says the mind, beyond right knowing, is lesser. Lesser than the feel of the new-sawn, the flowering of soap in wood, all those envelopes unopened, the stagger and drag, arm bent back in the absolute day, shaving
in light that assailed, half-sleep riven by a torch. In another country, what is the mark of terror? Ligaments of tow, a tightening of the bandwidth of the eye, every long unlettered blue vaporous thing to hoard. Not all the fireflies weaving signs made it easier. By that I mean the time spent. Look at my body, the maguey surface of it, its set-end color
I can still hear the soft crack the seaming at the wrist. These days I’ve learned to see the event, the woman downstairs, she brought a baby home, it cried, there was a treadmill at some point, the figure in the film I made up a-flit from door to wall, don’t stop that’s perfect, I want it just there, there. Nearly bought a marble table. Bad bad bad. Sometimes on the freeway things were momentarily pure and good, though. It was always low to rain from a slate madstone sky
and here’s an idea, barely there at the time how certain symbols count. Dogs have followed me ever since, their sutured mouths remote. The phrase ‘you search for a home but you have one’ is always never quite right to be written, and it’s not about this anyway. I never had a milk jug when I arrived and somehow that has stayed with me. In Anselm’s theory, a first cause the self-causing cause is repeated so perhaps
in sixty seconds a mistake over again, just a crack, might have been meant. Hair like a slash of canebrake or some other plant, restive, silken. All the while thinking of my first house, which it was, and the weird floor slant so the water came in. Canted and veering every day, a slow swing like my own hand, lifted
doing what I wanted, then drawn back. Neighbors let me see the underground, knocked in the closet-style hallway, said they’re all walking home, everyone across the river. After that just a few coincident twists is all I need for something to assume the greatest importance. Empty shells, owlcalls. New clothes. Distance, says Anselm in the mind from what it tries to enact is for answer in whatever we make
or heal with science, solder a beloved thing with binding wire, wire gauze, wire pliers. I type equations: watts+feet+M %loss. I like the word fricative. Last week at the church at the very back, where-else, the walls came like a dip-net closedown and I fell out, I really fell. There were dog tracks, it was snowing and yellowish
and Anselm says the bad we are is known with inductive reason. Like a battery or effect of it, strange ghost of it, the slow spin of cells, the eventual snap-to. A silent downstroke on skin already cut. You the sum of the line of the point not there. A shining in me always sullen, you shine. Shine sullen, shine dissolved, shine sullen.
It’s the repetition makes me a man. I was ill as all hell and you’re likely not dead. There’s a naming to work out, so many items like the rose aroma, and where a table should be 7, 8 feet away, blue leadlight window, the oldest tree on the street. Prayer, water, ipecac, the salve and the bitters of it. Many-spined ideas, they crawl. I lived there for quite a while.