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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Mystery of False Attachments, Now Available from Word Palace Press

The following poems are the opening of a series of 140 “fragments” in a new book of mine, The Mystery of False Attachments, set for publication later this month by Word Palace Press in California.  The fragments gathered here are extracted and re-set from earlier poems and/or newly composed for this edition, while an accompanying series of digitalized black & white photographs are modelled on “deep images” (through the Hubble Telescope) of the farthest reaches of the newly visible universe. The structure of the fragments themselves (centered, in sans serif typeface) is largely determined by their original appearance as a series of postings on Facebook. 
      The book is the result of a collaboration with Paul Lobo Portuges, publisher, and Garrett Stotko, book cover and layout designer.

No world more clear
than what we see
in dreams
nor more amazing

I open up
my mouth & hear
a multitude
of voices

I aim a question at
the universe
but a trillion others answer
in its place

Hand in hand
the dead walk in a line
hoping against hope
like children

Eager to break thru language
& touch life
I crack my head against
a mirror

A deeper image
leaves the world behind
still deeper where time ends
& yet another universe begins
absent all seeing

In the way words
or fail to
I found my truth

The smell of mackerel
was the greatest poem  
was promises

I have a feeling that
my tongue speaks words
because my throat
keeps burning

I bear a hundred names
I sound them
one by one
but none rings true

All who die are equal
where a cruel nirvana
waits for them
& man's a wolf to man
 The age of the assassins
more alive now than in memory:
All history moves into reverse
a swerve in time
to make a perfect circle

The mystery is all contained
in speaking - then the little silences
surround my words - like poetry
I breathe them in & out

the mystery of
false attachments
still persists

Or from a more distant time, when “deep image” only meant a construct-of-the-mind (poesis), the following was how we spoke: “The deep image is the content of vision emerging in the poem.” And again: “The deep image rises from the shoreless gulf: here the poet reaches down among the lost branches, till a moment of seeing: the poem.”  From which the other, deeper sight emerges slowly: “the farthest probe of all they call / ‘deep image,’ / galaxies condensing/ in the perfect poem.”

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