To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Anne Tardos “Beginningless,” a new poem from The Camel’s Pedestal

Life is a raw event

I give you roses    You give me roses

As I speak and as you listen
I feel the traction of my words in the terrain of your mind
We speak of the great emptiness which is ultimately empty of itself
(It is not reality either)
We discuss the limits of thought The paradox of expressibility

The familiar

the habitual

we appropriate
Our mental attitudes then crystallize into instincts Detached observation of brilliant force fields
Luminous displacements

The ride of a lifetime
   The buzz of electricity
      The comfort of oblivion
         Staring at the ocean
            Inhaling heady sea vapors
                The fullness of time

An increasing sense of urgency
Inexplicable in light of a conscious attempt at slowing down
As if deceleration itself suggested friction

Who am I and what do I mean by who am I?

Hume Human

Creative power of the mind amounts to no more than the faculty of
or diminishing
the materials afforded us by the senses and experience
The muddy particulars of experience continually give us new material to digest assimilate reject or rearrange in different degrees

Like seaweed, we undulate

We discuss zero, a finite moment fixed within our infinity

We say our infinity as we would say our solar system or our galaxy
We sense that each instant covers the entire world
We know that life doesn’t happen to us We happen to it

And what we make of all this stuff is up to us
Our inventions tend to be arbitrary
Much is about restraint and mindfulness courtesy

Not to give innot to succumb Not to wallow not to slouch Not to slip not to fall

I have nothing better to do than to be here now.
Delicate gene pool
  Glitter kindness
   Unexpected chemistry Thought exists
    Rigid necessity

I surge forward, feeling an elastic exhilaration.
This is the current situation as it stands:
Everyone I’ve ever been I am now
All kinds of inspirations and illuminations,
Points of clarity and rays of grace

I don’t know a better point to start from.

note.  Anne Tardos’s The Camel’s Pedestal: Poems 2009-2017 was published earlier this year by BlazeVOX Books.  Of these poems & of what Gary Snyder has called: the “real work of modern man: to uncover the inner structure & actual boundaries of the mind,” John Olson writes: “ There is a splendid lucidity to Tardos’s writing, a jesting, inquisitive spirit nimbly examining the relationship between language and reality in inventive articulations that jingle with wit and perceptivity. Lines like ‘I am lost in a desert of my own making’ and ‘Do words work as wood works’ juggle phenomenology, advancing what Tardos observes as ‘the true state of things expressed in phenomena but inexpressible in language.’ Contradiction, paradox, incongruity; it’s all here, the entire caravan of linguistic apparatus crossing the dunes of this enigma, this desolation of self-awareness, this epistemology of dromedaries on the very edge of things. This collection is well-crafted, precise, imaginative, clear. I feel a great intelligence moving among these words. It’s exhilarating. This is the kind of work that inspires me.”

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