Tag Archives: Aging

“Abruptness Applauds Aplomb”

aplomb1

“Abruptness Applauds Aplomb”

Abruptness applauds aplomb, a golden draught of curt cessation
Of hostilities. Enter antistrophe, the tenuous hymn, a nervous truce enforced
By dreams that hearts discern what in the discourse
Is impossible for speech to register as a plea. Listing on a sea of abnegation,
Content, superfluous ballast, the stuffs of odes leach a certain rush of sadness
In the breach for lack of evidence on the table; withdrawn from all others,
Comes a welling of overwhelming selflessness that smothers
Second thoughts, shuns advice and admonition and opts for simple gladness
Redolent in its radiant acquiescence, futures steeped in martyrs’ crimson inks
at first stirrings of anagnorisis. Here dwells dull
But conscious resignation to what appears to be defeat of all mottoes
Writ in luminous capitals: “The Thing’s Not Working!” And in the grotto,
Then, the chorus strikes the penultimate invocation, the last bull,
The space between the lines, in turn the very eye of so vainglorious a day,
“This cannot come to good!” as fools react where wisdom merely prays.

“So Where To?”

liner

“So Where To?”

So where to from here; tug daily grind, line
The which depends so much, so little
Upon report, rapport; cement ‘n spittle,
True juice, sap; pure, refined,
Pliant to the touch; spine
Present in the optic and so…brittle?
Caught in upper or lower case, median middle
(And then some)…or is the channel closed,
Blocked for repairs, incognito
For want of words or syntax
Or something less substantial, posed
Between just another meme; revealed though
By no means sealed o’er in blood-red wax?

seals

“The Age”

“The Age”

The age, the arc, the spectre of unspeakables
And contention; a single strike will kill, but with the honeybee
Comes purpose by the lot and ensured harmony,
Do not disturb!” and “Multiples; Invincibles!
Reluctantly, to be sure,  but timely come the constables,
Harbingers of an hour’s solemnity
And stark reminders of inevitable uncertainties—
“A step too far!” is heard, and while the intruder’s able,
The antidote comes in hosts, swarms
And spirits in the multiples and in the interim
Kindnesses in part to save the whole.
No bellicose delivery here, no spectacle of effort to console
The soul but simple missives bearing news of certified afflictions warn
Of death: “The hive or thee, my friend: the hive or thee; attend!”

fear

“O My! Bejeezu!”

light2

“O My! Bejeezu!”

O my! Bejeezu! Where did I go wrong?
And where were you when I’d done’t,
And where are they all now that the audit
And the reckoning grows aloud and louder than a song
Sung in triumph withal? The shadow’s withdrawn
Further inward to the quick, the narrow brawn
Of naked thought upon a single bone, marrow spawned
Of promise, premises consumed, spent
Emotion, perhaps little more than a curtain rent
But just a step or two behind an odd comment―
Well, after all, I’m just sayin’― cement
For a Magi or thrice on a mission sent
For “Let it go at that, my friend!” Seals
Fit for a living room upon gilded open fields.

“Damn!”

certitude-vikram-franklin

“Damn!”

Damn the copula indictment! Imprecations in the votive voice
Give an air of desperation, habit, addiction to extraneous
Mass when systems beckon. Harden knowledge and trust
With perjury steels mere faith with the gift of certitude. Thus choice
And immortality, twin crowns are ever known. Hoist
The ensign; then, scan Scrolls of Scripture for evidence thrust
Upon the few and swallowed whole, rejected in disgust
Toward the end before the opening note defines the cycle and foists
Credulity upon what is species captured in the draught by dint of time,
Tradition, and the annual hajj along the Yellow Brick Road to hell.
But know this, friend, the natural grammar of the Newborn Era
Holds sway in all seasons, discovers in ebullience all that’s said in camera:
And what’s done in spite caroms against the palate and staggers rhyme
In tokens of support but at last yields powers to the ears to break the spell.

“I Found The Day’s Messiah”

Adam

“I Found The Day’s Messiah”

I found the day’s messiah breathing as if to pray;
No prayer, of course, no sign, no moon, no stars, silence—
Balm to souls and solace in a crisis
Of questions—so many hopes lay absurd, what they must say
Gives Animas to eternity and shields a simple fear, the terror
Of these days. I would not ask outright, “I have no words,” then,
Took flight so very tight in twilight when
From cancer and fallen branches—errors,
Really, to the whole—innocence conjures lasting alibis,
Sentinels that never come to rest, fruits of thought pressed
With violence enough to produce the wine—more from less,
Inebriation from what the old man once said. Patient sighs
Amongst the sparrows egg him on while sitting on a porch with me.
“Make peace with the Fathers,” says he, “from Sons of Adam flee.”

Ivory_Cain_Abel_Louvre_AO4052

“This Wishing”

Sitting__Waiting__Wishing_by_eurai

“This Wishing”

I know this wishing to be as natural as breathing; none of us avoids it.
Having said this, still, while it is natural to the head,
It’s anathema to the heart as every affair noises over and over again.
Still, while we know desire, again, we hear that since it’s natural, it’s inevitable, And because it is inevitable, we must accept its rising fevers and all rude and Tumultuous downfall;
Both are natural and both are inevitable.
As there is a hairline difference between virtue and vice,
So too much the same between the crown of natural want
And its evil twin, lust.
Yes, of course I have wishes and hopes
And all that goes with both,
But again, having said this,
I know I am a fool, and there’s an end to it.

…photograph by eurie of DeviantArt…

“The ‘Once’, the ‘Ever'”

…dedicated to Hermann Bloch
1 November 1886– 30 May 1951
“”I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.”

“The ‘Once’, the ‘Ever'”

The once, the ever, standing in the atrium must burn;
The nexus of the meeting of the feeble lamps are lit as Virgil sits alone,
The flint stone at the confluence of the rivers; a tone
Once heard, a trace no more than words. Ever then discerns
A wisdom in the lengthening of days on end;
A reconciliation of the first sun’s now within
The pale of the last night’s then and all its many-eyed kin;
The End, scintilla of a notion’s distant toast:
“To Cæsar!” Distractions in the movement defer to mortality, defend
The pattern as it is, the peoples’ choice, a proud
Morbidity based in universal song on this, a night of leaving, joy
On this, a day of meeting. Stars and verses, voids,
A universe of empty consummation never executed while clouds
Obscure the moon, as ever toils below;
Perspicuous, yes! the once and only suns express,
So dark a night as never and one more day of less.

.

Block’s Death of Virgil had to be the most ambitious reading of any single novel I have ever read with James’ The Ambassadors right up there with it, but a close second. The stimulus of both novels, however, is incomparable in value and I can suggest that anyone who values the language should read both of them at least once before death simply because they exist; as Everest has been for the mountain climbers, so both novels have been to anyone who reads and loves the language.

Block’s “Virgil” is not fun to read, but it represents an incomparable challenge and once conquered, a kind of badge of honour having braved the greatest storms of both prose and poetry that could be imagined short of blowing out the circuits of both.

With the James novel, it was said that it was his favourite, but apparently almost impenetrable to some readers of his time. To one “Lady ‘whomever’” who complained of this, he advised sticking with it and that once having arrived at a certain point in the narration, the specific gravity or gravitas of that novel would hit and the worth of the whole vindicated. And so it was; I had to read that novel page by page, reading each several times to get anything near clarity in what was being said or where the action of that novel was going. Then, one late afternoon, while cooling off from a very hot shower in preparation for going out for the evening, I decided to sit on my bed, pick up that novel and continue plugging away at it. Suddenly, there it was! A catharsis of unimaginable majesty that hit so hard that I almost cancelled my evening out in order to continue reading to the end. Great works are like that.

For me, there is no “fun” involved in reading, but the rewards are everlasting, something that is rare in the reading of secular prose. Block’s work is a combination of poetry and prose in a mixture I never thought possible until reading “Virgil,” and I cannot imagine now, an equal to this. My sonnet alludes to but one of the thoughts that seem to dance throughout that work in spite of laborious, endless poetry, all of which may be beautiful, but only in small doses like genuine truffles; like chocolate, there are some things in this world that are “legal” but close to lethal in effects, and Block’s “Virgil” comes quite close to that.

 

“Happenstance”

Catherine Manchester

“Happenstance”

Happenstance and glory of a measured breath, the sun and moon
And distant scintillating light deranged and rearranged
To suite the insignificance of magnificence of a single scene and page.
Another sentence, a paragraph in which I find myself within a backlit room
To mark the hours the Doppler shadows all misfortune casts.
I have revelled in these signs, these periodic tedious monotonies,
Their very rising at once the thrall before the fall, monopolies
Of time and times again that only now appear to mask
Because when all that is has come to pass I happen to be standing here
A witness to creation’s synergies newly birthed. In the cold stare
Of noonish sunlight I sense with fragile accuracy the beneficial glare
Of all my peculiars, entities and particles that occupy the ear,
Delight the eye, and not so subtly remind me that I am,
And need not doubt the ground on which I stand.

…painting by Catherine Manchester…

“Yes”

Storm1

“Yes”

Yes. So much as I can see
staring Eastward across the waters
that later touch the Holy Land,
still, in the early briefer hour I cannot remember its equal.
Standing here alone in endless fields of wheat and corn
from where I feel an overweening rage Westward, miles
between those twin skyline cauldrons, and swells upwelling heat and sweat
in anxious presage: something coming! sweet release.
My body aches. I cannot stop the prayer beyond the syllables―light and lightning, cheaper thrills, the instant comfort and relief
of ice-cold waters of an irrigation ditch.

Nebraska! To ease the sweet pain,
I cannot wait. I know what’s coming. I’ve always known.

I should not be here, but am I, and nothing in this heart could be disarmed, alarmed or warned to cede to what appears and never once makes sense.

No. I see them, righteous boiling mountains
not of rock; no trees, no streams, no mirage―
no poetic soul’s terse natural verse here while there,
but two whirling dervishes from the West, floods
of supra-natural flotsam, mitred clouds
with stains of seed in florid green
to punctuate potential, a pure
perspicuous majesty
and they stare at me…

Their hour is come. It is their mercurial summons I hear,
its first flush reaching for me and I have no fear.
And in this empty plain,
a place where I’m forgotten,
my early exile, this beside the point
as I stand here, within the hour,
I’ll breathe, I’ll cry, I’ll laugh,
and damn the lightning,
I’ll survive!

Storm2