amanita’s hymnal [1970]

`

`


[for Jerry Rothenberg]


page one

~~~

~~~

Hymn to the Hut


Reservoir of Soma
Place of Agni
Sojourn & seat
of spouses
Seat of the gods
You
are all of this
O Goddess
O Hut


+

Leaping between
two worlds
unable to bear either


+


the tongue
crosses
the cross
tongues

~~~

~~~

page two

~~~

~

Life is a mode of transportation

~

+

~

Smudged white mushrooms on a red plate.
The plate belongs to me.
I who am eating the mushrooms.

~

+

~

The fleet-foot sweetness of
Albinoni at any depth.

It shields.

~

+

~

I suppose I’d known for some years that I’d get “there”
by one means or another, but how combat the pull
against energy?  By 1969 I knew the hardness
would not let up.
And then on May 11, 1970 it was clear
I wanted to go, with or without her.
On June 17th the body submerged in its own fluid.
On September 20th I saw the eyes of the sphinx, or they screwed
into my brain.
Last night, November 9th, I realized I’d not only excluded joy
but meta-joy as well.

~

+

~

To the solemn melody & slow-changing harmonies
of Alessandro Marcello’s Andante in D Minor (4 minutes 34 seconds,
duo Presti-Lagoya) I realized
that one could in fact avoid eating
the Destroying Angel, despite her unspeakable
beauty. Her? Come, Soma, rid me
of these foolish contraries.
I mean let this leaping find its own
rhythm & if necessary we’ll pretend it’s home.

~~~

~~~

page three

~~~

~

the symbol of wavy, living Life & of the male sexual organ had seduced them

~

+

~

Don’t eat her.  Breathe her.
If necessary find the formula that will save you,
but mix her with speaking.  Let the red head rise
inside you,
Soma seemed to be saving
almost mournfully.  Why, Marcello?
Why this heaviness, & why this love of
heaviness?

~

+

~

How can we live with such mystery?
And the Book continues to shove “secrets” in our faces
& goes on to say “the still deeper secret of the secret” is
The land that is nowhere, that is the true home

~

+

~

Memory of the First House vs. knowledge of the present structure.
Carnal memory vs. nostalgia for this moment.
Let me in as underwater transposition of Let me out.
False vs. true opposition.  Clarity vs.
everything else.  Not to use the tongue
but to become one.

~

+

~

the child’s dream of mounds, all shapes & sizes
of mounds, the endless surface

~

~~~~



page four

~

~

Verbal love, O verbal verbal love

~

+

~

He is apparently made of fire, he is or has a figure
composed of terrible honesty.
I can’t take my eyes off him
& he won’t stay still long enough for me to catch
a clear view of him.

~

+

~

Every moment a crisis. It can go
either way.  And does.

~

+

~

The residual dirt of the beloved
is to be eaten.  Earth confirms
herself by getting us in her
dirt-verb

~

+

~

Everything changing everything.
Everything you stick in here changes me.
Sometimes I see myself as the last Puritan
in a promiscuously dynamic universe.
In this instance being a poet proceeds from a love for strange fruit
& the balls to ask for a bite.

~

+

~

Trap me trap me trap me
That’s all I ask of you
the voice seemed to say in its vegetal echo-chamber

~

+

~

If not loose at least at large inside

~

+

~

A death-cap
hidden
in the dark meal
(Join me)

~~~

~

~

page five

~

~

~

I was just blowing the sugar
out of my way, she said.

~

+

~

This Crashaw Hymn says Open up & let me thru

~

+

~

After all what is a Sacred Book but one in which
wholeness is entrusted
to the way of working of the invisible author within
a definite space.  The hut.

~

+

~

She never undertook to know What death
with love should have to doe; Nor has she
e’re yet understood Why to show love
, she should shed
blood

~

+

~

Love touch’t
her Heart, and lo it beates High, and burns
with such brave heates; Such thirsts to
dy, as dares
drink up, A thousand cold deaths in one cup.
Good reason.
For she breathes All fire.
Her weake breast heaves with strong
desire O what she may with fruitles wishes
Seek for amongst her Mother’s
kisses

~

+

~

Call you Monica?  Nun or wild-
life sanctuary.
Somewhere on sands
of the desert a bottle
is calling me

~~~

~~~

~~~

page six

~

~

swimmeth eft on-weg


Fuck talk.
A severe course
or nothing.

~

+

~

He came to disturb the sleep of the world.
In my case he succeeded.

~

+

~

Putting it here closes the open space.
Putting it here again, or more of the same at a different time, opens
its own closed space.

~

+

~

Magic signs everywhere.
Thus 3 means coming
in a fearful light, on a
slant.  Whereas 4 means coming again
& again.
Accept this violation
of privacy
on faith.

~

+

~

The number of connections you find or make probably differs
from my number.  All are actual in my experience
& no doubt in yours.  Thus the number is variable
when & only when the reality is known absolute.

~~~

+

~

Believe me
said over & over to create every possibility
of the blowhole.
When the word is made
unrecognizable, the body is
swimming.

Away on its way
Wagging.
A column of serum.

~

~~~

~

page seven

~

~~~

The ventricles overheard.  The map.

~

+

~

This morning in Queens, an old man pushing a black baby carriage.
It is empty.  He takes one
step at a time.

~

+

~

In accounts of the Emperor’s new clothes
it is generally left unsaid that a second youth
spoke out: “These new ones
are truly beautiful.”

~

+

~

He was in a trap of looking out
but not into what was flashing at
him.  Mere flesh.  The sheer
unbroken.  Look! a young voice cried,
& he looked & saw
nothing.
Enough! or is it not nothing
enough?  He took himself in hand, saying
I will make it so.  He inflicted
pleasure on himself
realizing the extent
to which he could hold life
& not.

~

+

~

He sat on his ass at behest of Soma
& the bottom fell thru; i.e., he realized that one
could sense the universe intimately, in its complex
variety, with no other organ than the anus.
Speech, a pipeline from the viscera to & up
the spreadleg Mother Beneath

~

+

~

so 1 have taken the blank space
I left for you, I said to my beloved.
Forgive me.  I must inhabit nothing
for you.  I am enjoying the impression of riding
in a strange, place & looking up
as I ride out

~

~

page eight

~

~

And you also are what I hear is so

~

+

~

The extent to which the body alone
could take over he realized was one
meaning of the possible.  One
meaning wandered less lonely than alone.
He continued to listen &

~

+

~

Fourfold is the unfolded one that is missing.
This is too simple, he thought.
It is not simple enough, countered Soma.
Revise it

~

+

~

He soon found that multiplication was not the answer
And division is & was as we all know the problem
almost from the beginning.
Addition & subtraction are temporary solutions.
My math ends here.

~

+

~

He fondled himself further
aware of how the brain alone
had failed.  She came
in his head.  He said, I’ve been among
males waiting long enough.
And so moving thus from head to cock
he sought to trap the womb-like wound
in the middle.  Or himself
therein.  I want us to come
here together.  What I’m trying to get thru
your skull is that everything must be let in
& out.  Forgive me.  I’m only speaking
to myself again.  The seed is still
spilling

~

~

page nine

~

~

In the after—
math the open body is the lucent locus
of a cold wind.
The mind also
beyond its guise as wound
or unwound clock

~

+

~

walking, age 2’1/2,  pulling
on my mother’s arm.  I weigh
nothing, she lifts
me with one hand

~

+

~

& looking more closely at the accompanying photos I realized
that I might well identify with Amanita muscaria (Fly-agaric)
considering alone the aspect of the red head, & so she
is identifiable with Amanita virosa (Destroying Angel)
in view of the sheer white
skin.  The severe loveliness of her nakedness
in its guise of improbable flash.
All vision is potentially deadly,
I thought in philosophical self-defense,
taking 3 steps back.  Keep him 3 paces distant
who hates bread
, music, & the laugh of a child,
wrote Lavater.  But is she not the Lover?
All angels are potentially terrible, thought Rilke.
In the half-light of the electric lamp outside
her window in Queens she looked very much like an edible white
mushroom beneath an imitation moon.
May I assume that we stood back
from the angels in us?  The electric clock whined all night.
The brain exposed itself
as a sick child
longing for parents

~

+

~

So you see symbols confuse me.  Things interrupt
their power over us.  I bit her.
She screamed beyond recognition.  Order
is a wonderful thing.

~

~

page ten
~

~

In hot pursuit
of that fiery figure.
When we glimpse him we are wanting
him, how terrible!
is wanting, & now we know it,
now we don’t.
From there to here
is longer than I can say.  Further away.
Call it meta-desire: the wanting
that passes all other wanting
on its way to where it can
never get.  One
hopes it is one’s own way.
One knows it is not.
Together we go in
hot pursuit.
Gathering ourselves up in the mere
glimpse.
One other not so much plus as in spite of
oneself.  All that I know
is in halves.

~

+

~

Laughing & crying we were leaping
in & out of holes
within & without Everything that lives
within reach.  Without reaching.

~

+
~
Have I breached

the subject
before you
Is this the matter
with you
also

~

+

~

the voice of Hugo the Killer-whale
in the Miami Seaquarium

~

~

page eleven

~

~

In the after—
myth phase of the amorously focused eye
I detected a shaft of light
relieving her of her beauty.
She would have wept to see
it so bare.  I would have said, Look,
I’m gone too.  We’ve been found
out.  Our rich decor is being burnt
for pleasure.  But both her eyes
were closed.  Both people at peace in the one
body perceived by the half of my seeing self
that looks for nothing
& never finds it.
On this occasion we refused sleep
its boorish claim
of sole disrupter

~

+

~

So that whatever happens in your mind among my fragments
is my trip among your fragments

~

+

~

Let sleeping dogs lie
was my mother’s answer to centers
of trouble.  How long it has taken to know how barely
she spoke beyond herself.

~

+

~

When are we most like nuns
in that dreamy wildlife sanctuary
we come from?  Saint Theresa
could walk naked on the beaches of Miami
& fear no loss
of her sacred secrets.
I’m trying to tell you why I left you, Mother.

~

~

page twelve

~

~

(NOVEMBER 5, 1970 flashback)

Breeching again
we’re in a movie together you & me
& I was about to say I love you
but you were lost to the action.
It turns out the action was part of my dream.
My brain is trying to throw it off
in the interest of clearing up the meanings
of this house.  What goes where, etc.
But the action continues & I don’t dare
interrupt you
or me for that matter.
And yet I can’t help it.

~

+

~

Purple bubble baths

~

+

~

It annoys you that I refuse to tell you
what I don’t know.

~

+

~

“There” or nowhere.  The alternatives.  I.e., one thing
in the same.

~

+

~

Fear.  Rain.  A black poncho over me,
The memory of last night’s failure to connect.

~

+

~

This was not meant to be a poem to you,
Amanita, & I will not describe our sexual life
together.  Not at any rate until the dead
center
at which secretly
we are aiming is cut clear
thru, like an onion.  Tears &
an appetite.

~

~

page thirteen

~

~

The endless watering of plants
The regularity of their sucking in
The water I bring in obedience to the moon above
The severed content of
The house I live in
The promise of deliverance given by
The Book of Changes
The Sacred Mushroom in its vague relationship to
The unarticulated ruby dreams of Soma
The degree of absence of
The god of total presence in
The marriage that now appears not to exist as
The hidden inner motive alive in each thing
The name of which reality we are following
The way
The hidden way & the wish to rip off
The veil to bring sacred secrets into
The least delphine glint leaked by her eye
The indigo place of desire
The desire to get out of
The dark desire & into
The the of
The Golden Flower is
The light bouncing off
The great ball of yellow at the center of my brain
The view from beneath
The sun breaking thru
The gathering surface of
The sea inside
The sea outside
The sea

~

~

page fourteen

~

~
Everything that lives is
full of holes.
Find them.

~

+

~

Divine is the opposite of divide.

~

+

~

1 call this a bottle

~

+

~

O God!  I never meant to be taken literally!


Poetry IS
this fucking twisting

around my base
being
, catching
hell instead of hold, where
ARE you cunt
, you can’t keep me
out forever –
So sang one
Somatic projection.

~

+

~

I was hoping for more.
That’s the trouble.
And yet it goes on, tripping over itself
but finding its foot.

How far you are.
I can’t believe it.

~

+

~

To come up
alongside him is
to catch him
in

~

+

~

The first time I heard my body
I knew I was not alone.
They were out there.

~

+

~

The opposite of opposite.

~

~

page fifteen

~

~

Can we enter the white spot that is to Amanita as blood is
to the broken body?  Looking hard things re-
verse themselves

~

+

~

There are two reasons for reading, I said:
One, to become more like the man who wrote
&, two, to become less like one’s self
who did not say it
when it was most needed.
Soma replied: there are also two reasons for not
reading

~

+

~

[the sentence of Hermaphrodite is crossing over
either way, or both for that matter, speaking thus
or not thus

~

+

~

Nevertheless the danger in the day is its date.
The fact that it is Friday the 13th of November 1970 means
nothing more
or less than that, he said to his folded knees
where his face is pressed.
Tomorrow the 14th is also terrible.

~

+

~

or the power not to end what we did not begin

~

+

~

The struggle is also wonderful.
As afterthought this is no more profound than afterimage
induced by other forms of hangover.  I am down
on my hands & knees & determined
to love the stance.  Head on.  Now.  The crouch
is too real not to be
believed.  Get up!
I used to say, rolling over to copy the clouds,
& now: Get on with it!
Neither is real.  Hence this additional
pursuit of a hot tongue
to say it faster than I can see
its meaning.

~

+

~

or I would not invite you to this reading otherwise

~

~

page sixteen

~

~

An invasion is to be expected
at any time

~

+

~

Claire was convinced that she had an atom bomb
inside her.  She was usually listless, appeared to be "empty,"
occasionally her emptiness seemed highly
charged
with violent energy seeking apparently random
discharge

~

+

~

The hour before dawn is the coldest.
Sometimes I think it's always 4:13 A.M.
I'll never forget the quality of his voice crying
Get me out of this shell
& naturally I thought he meant to say hell.
I'm expecting more.  A lot could happen before
sun-up.

Love, M.

~

+

~

Our bath: we went down together: where
the bottom was no one could say or
certainly not see; she pulled me thru
& said I pulled her; the weight of the matter
where we were both only what was going
under

~

+

~

Take me with you, a minute voice requested.

~

+

~
or speech, or the metaphor of 2 brains unable to pull
apart, you know like 2 dogs with their asses stuck

~

+

~

She was well on her way when I took her
by the hand, which turned into
the stem of a white mushroom.
Au clair de la lune.

~

~

page seventeen

~

~

If the sun rose now the shape
of our nervous systems would be terrifyingly
clear.  We would have no choice but to sculpt our
selves or give up
being pure motion.  The Golden Flower is still tonight
because it is nowhere
near us.  A separate clarity.

~

+

~

How do you know?
The arrogance of claiming to love you.

~

+

~

It was as though I'd never spoken before to any human,
like awakening in the desert after a long & stony  sleep --
it began by our looking at each other last June.
And the hour before dawn I "read" him
my poem “The Weight of the Matter, or Where It Is Pulling.”
And believe it or not I had trouble deciding who
was reading to whom.  The text is dedicated to John
but sometimes I wonder whether he has dedicated it to me.

~

+

~

I want to be emptied
of wanting to be empty.

~

+

~

A list of desires vs. a list of clarities.
Here on page 333 of my notebook, where I am, the initial
letter of her last name
sought random discharge in the form of a yellow
brain. C of course has no meaning in itself
other than the terrifying light it casts
from behind my birth.  I know this sounds absurd
but I am not in charge here.
You are free to leave me.
I am not afraid of your name.
The ship is coming.  The empty ship
is coming again.

~

~

page eighteen

~

~
The top is round when one is looking straight
down or up.  Dead center is another matter.

~

+

~

To be near you is to be superimposed
upon.  This space.  My vow.

~

+

~

No lapwing overreaches himself if
he breaches with his own tongue.

~

+

~

The place escapes me: slipping away
together.  Marriage without
a honeymoon.  Marriage by the sea.
Marriage at dawn.  The name
escapes me.  Give me back
my name.  Or give it away
for me.  The power of the moon divorces
the taste of buckwheat honey.

~

+

~

or every structure                 is here
in order                                 to be
escaped                                 How else to know
how elliptical                        is this setting
ourselves                                free

~

+

~

I mean I have been divorced by form & topos

~

+

~

The question is why are we still living this Sacred Text?
This morning, the hour before dawn, we fell apart
in Queens.  Or she fell
upon me & I upon her.  The brain discharged
the body.  The body coiled.  The coil closed.
The enclosure vomited me back out.
Outside the white-yellow light wiped out all trace of love
& hate.  Goats bearing the razor-sharp letter C kicked & cut the claws
of the crab.  On this particular occasion he did not withdraw.
He saw himself dangling from the upraised hoof.
He saw the beast's brown eyes slip from hatred to hollow.
He was the sacred secret trampled out.
The same text related to its own shards.

~

~
page nineteen

~

~

We cannot say it & say it less
than truly,
interrupted Soma.
Gather up the pieces in their watery sentence.
At dawn the dolphins were swimming around the head
of this ship.

~

+

~

Thus: The people moving rivers with their hands

~

+

~

FIREFLY!

~
Got away
& me
fingering the air

~

+

~

More strains than can be followed.
More strands than her scalp lets in & out.
More streams in one sea, more swimming
at bearable edges, more sinking in serum
than foretold.  We are unprepared.

~

+

~

Thus: the real difference between them & us
is that they do not own their land but work their way
into her heaving body

~

+

~

Stop pretending.  We are lost.
Fire-eye!  Fingering the waves

~

+

~

or the structure contains its own poison

~

+

~

Locating his spot the bull speaks himself
in the ring & out of it

~

+

~

Here I am but

~

+

~

My head is a crane
& my metallic body is swinging
beneath in an immense arc,
I am trying to draw it up.

~

~

page twenty

~

~
I kissed him on the cheek & it was like
kissing a statue.  It was cold &
animate

~

+

~

Actually I was pulling on a string tied
into the middle.  Mine.  Had it released
& come out in the clear I would have become
pure sound.  A stream with the width of a string.

~

+

~

You make a world with the intention that it consist of everything
essential.  But you start to write in the middle of the page.
You can't go back & erase without rubbing a hole
or rendering your present communication unintelligible.
You can't skip ahead because that's cheating &
besides it creates terrifying blanks
in the present effort.  In the end you do all of the above
& none.  You decide to throw in with Dante & call it a Comedy,
& to keep yourself from fleeing you attach the adjective Divine.
The opposite of divide.  The thing only seems to be in
3 parts.  D for duo & dolphins.  C for 3,
the secret flower, the yellow-gold slab
at the center of the brain, interminable fear.
I called this a battle.  You flinched.  I meant that
Everything is happening
at once & so most like nothing.

~

+

~

When I told him frankly what I'd seen, Harrison said:
"I don't think I'm up to seeing
hunched-over fiery figures skulking into my house
the hour before dawn."

~

+

~

Help me keep this balance -- between
what & what I can't say except that I

know I like it best here in the middle, hanging
over all the edges at once.  And I know --
at least this morning I know from the look in your eyes
or my look half-looking out of your eyes --
that any move could be fatal.

~

~

page twenty-one

~

~

WHERE IS THE EXIT INTO ENDLESS
OPEN SPACE?

~

+

~

Harrison's pingpong eyes, one of them dying out, crossed
again in fury, his giant's head filling with a thought
commensurate with its size; he named the evil:
The Spirit of Anti-Fuck
in the Universe

~

+

~

& one "purpose" is to break them down
by the very process that made them, letting
the symbol give birth out
of itself

~

+

~

Her white mushroom eyes give over to Beethoven's Pastoral & half look
for a way out.

~

+

~

preoccupied by ________ truer than those existing

~

+

~

There's a man in you who's always looking in
windows to see what they're doing.  There's a man
outside you looking in your windows to see what
you're not doing.  Too much water over the bridge,
Mother used to say.  The storm at the heart
of pastoral.  The City is dying.  Its people are looking
for a way out.  The air is clotting.  They will have to hold
hands in a 30 mile chain passing over the George Washington Bridge.

~

+

~

The red head is the effort upward, or rather outward.
From the roof of my house,
the Magritte-blue sky with virosa-white clouds
is a mode of flight.  Birds imitate it.

~
+

~

The fact is the uncomfortable part.

~

+

~

They lied to us.  The Emperor knew he was naked.
He was after all an Emperor.  Nothing more.  White flash.

~

~

page twenty-two

~

~
Suddenly you will know the difference between getting thru
& getting out, said Soma. The day & the night
are but different shapes
of the question of how.

~

+

~

What if we say the same thing over & over to each other.
What if the words disappear & our ears assume the curve
of what we meant to say.  What if we are suddenly
singing, despite the unmelodious quality of our voices
pock-marked with desperate memories.  What
will we have said?  And what will we not
have said?

~

+

~

They had to cross him
out. He talked too much & too straight.
They had to cross
out the voice in the act
of getting out. The sharp tongue
had to hang
like a limp cock.
This is why we stand before him with open arms.
This is why we would impale ourselves on his outstretched tongue
before it stops.

~

+

~

Now I know I was truly baptized
in the water borrowed from the bodies
which they willingly left behind.
Allapattah Baptist Church is the first house
of mv desire.

~

+

~

The watching-situation
The open-air theater indoors
He is not your personal savior
The show must not go on

~

~

page twenty-three

~

~

"That's really having your head
& eating it too -- oh I can't believe
what I said!"

~

+

~

or call it "image" & what is that but what works out
its own destiny
unknown to those present

~

+

~

the final fire burning up masks, theaters, coat-racks

~

+

~

"joint-knowing" by which we mean simply beyond
what either can argue in all fairness,
said Sorna, &:
This is our science. Sucking
thru the same tube.

~

+

~

"Did you hear they started the bombing again," Bill asked.
At that moment I was reading: the murder of the Living
by the human armored animal

~

+

~

“Many people have said my thought patterns before me”

~

+

~

Olson dying, his denture lost by lab technicians, shaping
his last words: "My work is finished, Robert, now
I have to contend with this live-her." The pun
as a mode of transportation.

~

+

~

And what am I to make of these fragments?

And what will they make of me?  Maybe I
am still in the middle of her lullaby.  Or waiting
for it to begin.  Or waiting for the ground
to break.
from the inside out.  Grandfather, stop hiding
in earth.  This flower is yours & you
are responsible.

And so on like this page after page
of unwritten letters.

~

~

page twenty-four

~

~
Your voice on the phone is suddenly its sound before
we met: you have no face or body again.  Leaping
into your origins, missing,
ending up previous.

I am struggling to hear it otherwise.
But we keep forgetting that He is not
our personal vacuum.  He is before
& after all this lagging

~

+

~

Help me compose this alphabet.  Grab hold
of this string.  I have no idea whether or not it is golden
but it is attached to a center somewhere of yellow
light, insanely brilliant, the broken womb-mouth
gape I see in the letter C & the clutching crab-claw number
3.  Cross cock city church cunt coil closed etc.
Call me from this Somatic spinal colume.
I have no need to die sucking on symbols.

~

+

~

I call him Ork, because I know no beast,
Nor fish, from whence comparison to take.
(Orlando Furioso)


Ariosto undergoes delphine correction
as the songs are taped at sea
& poetry washes away in our metaphoric
aftermath

~

+

~

I ate her, I incorporate her, I hold her at a depth
of 3 inches into my face, I am looking out
of her, I am gritting her teeth, I am almost
gone

~

~~~+

~

Thus the journey. Give up everything for it.
It demands idiocy & that idiocy be given up,
orders Soma from the bottom
of the East River

~

~

page twenty-five

~

~

Trinity climbing the hill to be planted
& leave the earth as cross. Why must I marry
symbols? And then why do I have to dream
them? Fuck the Daughters of Memory.
My only purpose in filling these pages is to create a new kind
of blank:

~

~~~~+

~

She dreamt she was reading a letter which told her:
you are a man, you are a man, you
are a man

~

~~~~+

~

The literal land's unsurveyed interior
The knit of her dress

~

+

~

This is all that remains:
1) A long-stemmed white buddinq lily
suspended against a fadinq orange-purple sunset smear.
2) The sky is sucked into the white crack
running out on the universe.
3) Thru her white vulva. I can see
out

~

+

~

"Schizophrenia cures," he said, looking at me.

~

+

~

Cancer of the Maximus.  Did he give up?  Russian Christmas.

~

+

~

I am the kite flying from the string I am
holding.  Now I see it against the blue
sky borrowed from Little Lord Fontneroy's playsuit.
I always wanted to play in his garden.

~

+

~

How My Mother's Embroidered Apron Unfolds
in My Life
[Arshile Gorky, 1944]

~

~

page twenty-six

~

~
I object.  Where is the eye in the word
that will prove it was looking at us.
She & I were one last night.  Our knowledge
of number disappeared.  I said join me.
Or she did.  Or whoever’s dream it
was bringing us about
face
to face we were the waterway the water was
running thru.  The getaway vehicle in
use.  Or the consistency
of buckwheat honey, the color, the brown sub-
continental sweetness.  Dante
beholding Beatrice
in her flower-chariot with horned beasts pulling, the
blossoming in the head, so Blake saw
it after all.  Realism.  The eye
has gone back in
to play in the garden.

~

+

~

Prisoners in the Underworld – print by Izquierdo,
Praxis exercitorum spintualium (1695).
Resurrection, I said.  Resurrection, she said.  Resurrection,
someone present seemed to be saying. Etc.
And this is how it was all night long.
And today. Thanksgiving dinner at the Officer’s Club, Governor’s Island.

~

+

~

Mescalito as mosquito.
I myself draw the serum direct
from her brain.  A matter
of looking both ways at once: Dead
center of a double source. Blood
is seed where I come from.
The Bride of Dracula. The leeches
in African Queen. Thus the background
of vision.  And so this is the Saturday serial.
We said: How do we know Saturday isn’t the serial
showing now.  She blinked, & stars shot out.

~

+

~

The flower as a mode of transportation.

~

~

page twenty-seven

~

~

He is voyaging along minding
his own business, sea-business, & hears
the insanely sweet music & she
draws him to dead center.  She
has him by his string of honey.

~

+

~

The bulbing yellow blown into the environment:
David Smith made it an outside fact

[Bec-Dida Day, July 12, 1963, Proust's birthday]

~

+

~

He is still outstretched before
the Cross until the flashing all around
brings it back down crossing his
self out
[Plate 76, Jerusalem]

~

+

~

St. Theresa, for example, underwent a full-blown
psychosis
.  I am longing
to be gathered up in her bosom.  Nippled flash
I mean my disharmonies appear to resonate with this
woman’s

~

+

~

clarities, clarities, more
clarities, cried the voices
of the Daughters still within hearing.
The Daughters of the Revolution?  — or Involution,
Inspiration, Incrucifixion, In–
struct me cried the Poet with a certain grammatical
solemnity bespeaking forgotten interstices of the Mother
Tongue.  And so homage to him who paid homage to
what he heard was so.

~

+

~

The coiled brain is crouching as foetus
either to spring forth as a spinal colume of light
or to receive a mushroom transplant.

~

+

~

And if she plays with me with her pants off
We will undertake many Odysseys

~

+

~

Long strings out of nothing

~

~

page twenty-eight

~

~

Going into a tail-spin she said
It’s a beautiful day. Neither is my genius
any more than a girl.

~

+

~

“But what do you DO with your time,”
asked the slanted smile.  I want
to put us . . .  I mean
I want us to be put . . .
I mean dear Jesus of the Allapattah Baptist Church
put us back . . . dear Jesus . . . can’t get out
of the middle
of the sentence . . . spoken, no less, as our ways
cross

~

+

~

How was it that my cousin John, on that occasion, had
a gaze blank & pitiless as the sun.
And that our eyes locked.

~

+

~

For Christopher Smart is master of my song.
For God is wrapped up in such muscle.
For my cousin John’s body cannot be said
to be separate from my own.  No longer.
For if the meaning of this ancient syntax is not the power to praise
it is at least the power to intermarry with praising
& not stop.
For the colors are spiritual, he said & proceeded to name them.
For RED is the next working round the Orange.
For the power spoken of here is without withdrawal
& above all no frame to stop the overflow
into shades

~

+

~

It is generally not acknowledged that Christ admired the view
up so high
but the idea was to get back down
& take the view along

~

~

page twenty-nine

~

~
I’m going to reinvent Christmas for you, Grace,
are you ready?  It’ll work
if we’re ready.

~

+

~

Smart in St. Luke’s, Pound In St. Elizabeth’s, & there’s still room
in the bosom of St. Teresa. No harm done
but everything must go in a frame.

~

+

~

And if it break?
The wholiness of self-transmitting color everywhere,
Everything with its blood-smear clearly tested
out of existence
in our present sense.
I did not look at that white bird to close her.
My brain was longing to crack the shell & she flew
in imitation of Delphine B- & Magritte-blue
mixing at the loquacious wag of the wing.
My ventricles asserted their course behind my ocular confines
& wet the bed of sky.
Yellow spreads on the sheet.
The whirrr of air, cut.
Leda open
& redreaming the bloodshot balls of earth.
Loose

~

+

~

And if Christmas break this year, Grace?
He will wander in & apart from the masses in
the Marxist sense, unnoticed by the fluttering left & right wings
of the socializing bird attempting to lift out of its heavy self.
He will be worshipping at dead-center of the mess.
Amidst a certain amount of disconnected comotion.

~

+

~

The question is not whether but why it is necessary to
become say
a whale large or small

~

+

~

Not if or can but do whenever & wherever possible & however

~

~

page thirty

~

~
What was music but a condition of our muscles.
What was politics but a matter of musical composition
(where & how to run, swim, or fly).
What was poetry but the course run, the distance
flown up (or, as Fuller insists, “off” or “out from”
the planet), & the depth & particular contours swum.

made audible by the verbal overflow between “you” & “me”
not, for once not, holding ourselves together by speech
but held within the syntax of the Mother
Tongue, who we were fucking or who was fucking us,
or we skipped together on the tip of Her tongue
& heard ourselves leaping

~

+

~

The existence of God is the speaking of these things
in the past & future tenses.
The existence of Jesus Christ is the speaking
of these things. Now, over & over, said.
The self-crossed body tensed & twisting, in tongues.
Today evidently I have to content myself.
with the mere existence of God.
Cosmic masturbation, or the spirit jacking off
over a smutty picture of the Beloved Jesus.
The apparent hopelessness of kicking shit out of Daddy
when you can’t get your HANDS on him.
Nor washing him off your knuckles. Nor wash him out
of your mouth with soap. Bad words.
Cosmogonal cussing, mainly on Sunday.
Who took the Son out of Sunday.
He used to shine there, they say. Playing
all day long. Johnny & me hiding
in the bushes to stay home from church.
Hiding & touching in the Mulberry tree.
And you ask why I have a beard! Do not my playmates
Johnny & Jesus & the undercover prophet Ezra
have the beard of Earth on their faces. You cannot say
Yeshuah without saying yes.

~

~

page thirty-one

~

~

He loved the tall stags as though he were their father

[English Chronicle]

~

+

~

It is one thing to say “I am an animal” & another
“I am that animal.”  I feel him in my bones.
Or: we feel ourselves traveling in his stride,
Or: TJAK TJAK TJAK
TJAKTHAKTJAKTJAKTJAKTJAKTJAK
thru the trees of Bali

~

+

~

I admit it.  When I look at my face I am painting.
The uglier it gets with its pock-marks of self-picking
the happier of course I get.  After all I’m a murderer.
Many a time I have knife-fucked my homosexual brother
& smeared the blood on my raped mother’s weeping eyes
& peeled off my father’s redhead (no guilt!)
& tangled myself in my female cousin’s genital hiding
& in these ways discovered that I too am beautiful.
Opening my mother’s vulva I was amazed
in the folds and their glued togetherness.
Etc.  “It is a theological commonplace that the prayer
of praise is the first & best sort of prayer, & Smart
prayed always in every line of his poem . . . ‘innocent
eye’ ” (David Jones).  How long it has taken to cut away
the withdrawal

~

+

~

And wild desire
falls like black lightning

[E.P.]

~

+

~

Mrs. Midnight, Mary Midnight, Mr. Lun, Zosimus Zephyr,
Fernando Foot, Ebenezer Pentweazle, the Female Student,
& “S”
figure among Smart’s noms-de-plume & the mercurial sense
of self

~

~

page thirty-two

~

~

At that moment at least it was clear: the sentence is a cross-
ways where you & I meet over & over & cross
over to enter & pass thru each other to cross
ourselves out & make room.  A
cross grammar so to speak.  And so these are stations up-
wards & downwards, nothing
more.

~

+

~

For languages work into one another by their bearings.
For the power of some animal is predominant in every language.

["S"]

~

+

~

For SOUND is propagated in the spirit and in all directions.
For the VOICE of a figure compleat in all its parts.
For a man speaks HIMSELF from the crown
of his head to the sole of his feet.
For a LION roars HIMSELF compleat from
head to tail.


[Mrs. Midnight]

~

+

~

half urging us

~

+

~

First you feel the pull.  Next the tongue steps
out, or unfolds with you in it.  Then the winds
come.  The waves
of shaking, the body graphing its own
quake.  The fault shows itself.  You fall
in, but do not give way to fear for this is a sort
of dance or twisting
on the ball of your step, balanced
for a split
second, then
heaving forward
almost awkward
yet serene as the word, so-called,
plays its own flip side, the sex
showing original knowledge
of variant possibilities, how the tree grows repeatedly
out of the middle of the body, & second by second
renewed, nutating, notioning, nouning, in the open
mouth mounting the body inside
out

~

~

page thirty-three

~

~

Saddling the tongue for the journey out,
we found quite by chance the middle
the central maze, or rather were found
out there in the great wide-open spaces
of intimate whalebody.  Locating
so it seemed at the time the Om in Mom.
We are not being frivolous, we know
what we’re talking about.  We further observed:
mimicking me
deep down is making her once
more.  M is mother
tonguing in her Fate as my memory
merging with [For] EARTH which is an
intelligence hath a voice and a propensity
to speak in all her parts
[Mary Midnight]

~

+

~~~

Bach on percussion. Bob used to play the record in
our house.  I learned to drum.  Now I’m asking you
to give me back my drum, or the other half.
Or at least the lost vinyl no one knows now.

I only have two hands
but I want to use both to say this
to our four ears.  Bob & John & Arvie
own ears in my head if I can only hear back
far enough.

~

+


Bach on porpoises.  Transposed
for sonar: what is said (played) is bouncing
off you: so I see you
& am trying to get you to cross
this bridge with me.
You will know me as an overlay
~

+
~

The Great Blue Tongue of the Sea

[with photo, National Geographic]

~

+

~
characterized by an ability to withstand chaos
over a
great period of time than most people
or rather to participate in it

~

+

~
Ostrich eggs on the prongs of the Cross

[National Geographic]

~

+

~
the in-visible Lady pulling me in

~
~

page thirty-four


~
~

by way of an earring,
if God was a child & wore a golden ring.
Ears ringing.  John’s aura,

~
+
~

or her pudendum is a sacrificial altar

~
+
~

Roger Guedalla points out that the dolphin is a symbol
of youthful love, according to Valerianus’ Hieroglyphicus.

“His delights were dolphin-like” [Anthony and Cleopatra, V, ii, 88].

“Why your dolphin is not lustier” [All's Well that Ends Well, II, iii, 26].

Furthermore the new Navy missiles are called Poseiden
& dolphins are being used as their self-destroying companions.
The image of riding till the end

~
+
~

______ says Now I am entering child-
hood, & steps into the division of the word.
The in-visible coil-born glue of the lost grammar.
The joyous torsion is transmitted through
that which sticks in, out, & together at once or in serial inter-
dependence.  Bound on all sides as to a world of pure body he is
momentarily unbound.
The strands of meaning at first sight appear
loose

~
+
~

Soma speaks in, out of, to, for, against, etc. this isolation crawling
over this page with “me”

~
+
~

She
or the shape of what needs to be
said here, entertained, or pulling us in
& therefore away

~
+
~

So you see I’ve been leaning on my brain too long
& it has a cramp.  Mother warned against cramps saying
Don’t eat before going in.  If this water gets any deeper
it will drown.  Ate too much

~
+
~

sliding down the slide-pole in Curtis Park
we said weeee
~

~
page thirty-five

~
~
How many more trees to pick from?  How many
more sacred secrets to cut out like tumors?
I eat what I steal.  One day I’ll eat what I
kill.  Meanwhile how many more times must I free
my wrists of fire & advertise my hip-throughsts
at the Zenith overhead?  I dreamt I saw
the erect cock of Earth blocking my path to open space.
I imitated its massive speechlessness.  I looked for signs
of Crucifixion that I might justify throwing my arms
around this tongue of Earth.  But the cock soon cut through
all my meanings.  Skin means nothing
but the mere possibility
of sheer action

~
+
~


Horseshit, interrupts Soma, you ask too many questions
& undertake too few.
The Universe drops its pants for you
& you stand there wondering which sex it
is.


~
+
~

He came to disturb the sleep of the world.  He himself
slept very little.  The problem is perhaps the reverse
of what was assumed: the “voices” are all too
clear

~
+
~

This page is like a fugal pedal-point you can signal
the climax by putting it in
wherever, whenever or whomever you want
,
instructed Soma posing as glint-eyed porpoise
swimming away on his way
within the poetic sea

~
+
~

Kit Smart praising day & night, day & night, day & night
amidst much environmental howling.  Let no speaking part of Earth
go unrecorded in the primal leapings of poetry,
he seems to have been saying in “every line.”  God
bless Sonia & her parents. God bless Monika, God bless
Lynn, God bless Trinidad, & all the rest walking
over this planet, according to the mode of Smart.
Given the proposition that Everything that lives is Holy
& that any thing possible to be believed is an image of truth
the only question is can we keep still through such a long movie
& like those mad poets remain sensible
to the qualities of Her performance
~

~

~~

page thirty-six


~

~
The page is a body in water.
Note the displacement of weight, the effortlessness
with which it learns to turn itself.
I for one have wept enough over our losses
for the time being.

~
+
~

Crossing & crossing in the widening gyre

~
+
~

The delphine mind continues to hear the delphine mind,
& that is perhaps as much as we can say at this point.

~
+
~

My cousin & his girlfriend watched Hugo the Killer-whale at the Miami
Seaquarium. Eye to eye, the gaze blank & pitiless.
Twice the whale, staring at her, suffered an erection.
One night last September I knew that John at least was deeply vexed
by the vast image, which continually crosses his mind.
This information may be useless to you, but I must tell you:
I myself saw the sphinx, the desert, the sun, the slow thighs,
As Yeats might have said it, I was mastered by the brute force.

~
+
~

Prophecy predicts nothing. Prophecy is
diction,
said Soma making a play
for one of the Daughters of Memory.
Attempting conversion?

~
+
~

And would you cut my song short, he asked her half-
wounded by her demands: where? a long song
is long all over. Do not try to make me come
to the point. Lie alongside, our
toes
& knees have tales to tell.
By the way he pleaded, & by the quality
of his devices, I imagined he was in trouble.
I pictured her with shears before the red-headed mushroom.
Well, place this in the annals of my fears, the excellences
born of practiced defence. But the very thought
of Soma throughsting about in the folds of Memory
breaks my harp: Encore!  I cry to Faust
singing in falsetto to the lost Margareta.
~
~

page thirty-seven

~

Bobbing in & out of the water this is what crossed his mind:
Loving her & in the same act sensing the possibility
of being ripped off:
the caterpillar moves forward
by removing himself, each part gathering its own
fall-ability                                    Feeling the slide

~
+
~

Spiritual gluttony, the girl called it.  Piling
up prayers, hankering after the big Light.

~
+
~

They knew they were “together” in so far as the shriek
derived equally from two open mouths


~

+
~


Glottometamorphosis:  I change my shriek if
& when you change yours.  We made sounds belonging
to the same sentence: I couldn’t tell
which of us ate the other’s pronoun.
For 2 years I said please believe me & dropped
the please in a moment of crisis. The plea
expanded, the words collapsed, it seems I
gave up the drift into human meaning & God
hath sent me to sea for pearls,
or whales, seeking
not to boil them down to oil but convert my
self to serum, as when the sound of believe me gives way
to sea-sounds made ghostly by the medial density of ship-hulls.
Humpback whales have led me astray.  I am being
called back
by the manufacturer for correction of dangerous defects
in the construction.  At ocean-bottom we’ll heal
the split.  Already our voices crisscross in imitation
of waves.  We have begun to speak in heaves
& bodily phonemes.  No more chatter.  More
& barer leaping between, you are a flash catching
light-particles, bleeme bleeme bleeme bleeme
~
~


page thirty-eight

~

~

Everything he said sounded overheard.

No one would talk that way on purpose.
America! the eavesdropped continent

~
+
~

It is beneath my dignity to be as stupid as I’ve been.
Below our dignity.  Fucked-up as we are.
Way below.
Down.  Way down.  Sheer beneath.
Fucked-up down beneath sheer mindlessness.
Bottomless stupidity.

~
+
~

We talked in a circle or a circle talked in us.

~
+
~

Many idiots have said my thought-patterns before me.
Many babbling conspiratorial war-mongering
morons have tried to pass them off as honest talk.
I am down.  I am so down.  Way way down.
But I am not down deep enough for dolphins.


~

+
~

Bill Smith asked why I didn’t bring the other envelopes of self
into this watery syntax, & I said What is poetry?
It has been a prison window through which we gazed
at open space.  And what of an open space as the locus
of speech & the window
as a peephole into prison life
& therefore out . . .
& on & on like that further justifying &
endlessly justifying the particular conditions
of this particular prison.

~
+
~

And then Soma, who never apologizes but submits his diction
addressed himself to my groping for fixtures:
Further down there are no contours.
We catch in passing.
I felt my mythopoeic brain
snared.

~
+
~

Tonight’s full moon, tonight’s ring in the sky, the vast
area claimed by disembodied light & the absence
of that light, tonight’s circle, let me out, tonight’s cunt
in the sky, let me in, how does the moon loop itself
& me in an acid aura; the hole leads away from me

~

~
page thirty-nine
~

~
This morning evidently the circle has broken.
Snow all over.  Why does snow always link with memory
even when you have no memory of snow?
even when you refuse the Daughters of Memory
their circular whorehouse claim over you?

~
+
~

Snow is a Hans Arp sculpture

~
+
~

Snow is what? Dream says it
is the unfucked center of the brain.
Memory is the unfuckable center of the brain.
The brain is a circle.  The body is a prick.
A circle is a cunt. The moon is the sky’s full
brain.  My body is too small for Her.  Snow
is Her mockery of me.  Snow is what She takes
away.  This is a song for snow.  This is tiresomely lost
love posing as a song in imitation of snow.
I want to fall as
snow ejected from the stony cunt of sky.  Or
the other way round.  Whales the difference?  Is not
the Man in the Moon?  Are not the snows also of Soma?
Is it not virosa white?  Did we not eat it from childhood?
Are we not dead as a result?  Is this not Susan’s voice
on the phone? my brain? my circle? Snow?
snow? snow? sss-no? sss-now? Fuck
snow, I say, & hardly are those words out
When
I start remembering again: a dream in Miami,
snow on the ground, I run outdoors to touch
it, white plains of snow become white patches on
the green lawn, & groping as usual I make a grab
for it, but of course the sun has melted it, the grass shows
through &
~
wetness on the warming lawn &
I had only wet the bed
~
in my brain.
Fucked nothing.

~
+
~

Snow is always outside the window
even now, except when I am outside the window.

~
+
~


Snow all over.  The first house.  Mother lets us
bring in bowls of snow to eat & play with, age 2 1/2.

~
+
~


Come back Arp & teach me to play outside in the cold
center of my dream wherein my hands also take hold of
nothing
~
~

page forty


~
~

This is what she saw on the same occasion, signaling me with the “S”
in her name: a snow-moon, a mushroom, the death-cap, the sound
of my voice sinking
back into nothing but air, the telephone is a circle
though admittedly she called me to tell me this
& somehow our pathetic signals crossed
or cancelled themselves out

~

+
~

2 delphine minds are what they are only
on the lower curve of the leaping arc
crisscrossing or sonorously colliding below
the outer ocular circuitry of

~
+
~

I mean I, Cancer, dream of getting back to that water
& you, Capricorn, climbing over the tits of earth, long to join
me where I am not.  Meet me there immediately,
I say, aroused by your coiled dolphin eyes
but I say it up here in this plastic circle.  Cut
the line maybe?

~

+

~

I’m not getting through
Human communication takes place in an air-flesh medium


Is it because I do not want to?

THE GAME OF SILENCE
~

+
~

break it or get the
fuck
out
~
~

page forty-one

~

~
The sound of a kitchen                   miming
the sound of snow                           hovering
over the sound of Earth                 enclosing
the sound of my house                   enclosing
the sound of my body                     projecting
the sound of my fingers                 tapping
on the sink                                        Thus snowflakes colliding
& amplified several thousand times

as hymn
to Amanita
~

+
~

a book of hymns hummed to their source
wherein the humming of hymns becomes an address book.
There is nothing left to do but chant our way
from house to snow, & so forth from there

~
+
~

Note that I’d like to give you an idea to take hold of
but I fear abrupt order.
Last night was wretched, put it out of your mind.
We’ve gotten this far together & here we are.
What would a lapwing say
in its capacity as verb, & vice versa, & what
did it mean by cutting through here, the answer
is the idea I was trying to get across when
the hollow moon circle took over the phone.

~
+
~


Taking recourse to prophecy, Diane brought us the following
found in a Chinese fortune cookie that plagiarized Carroll:

A porpoise is what everyone needs
in life.

~
+
~

I had thought of an ending for this page, but I forgot
or rather it was pulled into the spiral of love
which all afternoon has been moving between us

~
+
~

that is, in the absence of a way not ending
it
~
~

page forty-two

~

~

The mode is the life of transportation

~
+
~

Never saying what is not ready to be said & never not
saying the unbearable

~
+
~

listening for the sound between the sounds
no man could make alone

~
+
~

Use it once & get rid of it,
said Soma, & don’t cramp me
with your needs.
The Daughter, ashamed, fled
to the outskirts recollected by the absent
ungatherable, past
the luminous edge
of our perception
or our digestion

~
+
~

And with each sign of cross or plus a new “image”
of enough

~
+
~

QUERENCIA: Here I am.  I’ve been here all along.
That’s why I haven’t given up.

~
+
~

Sacred secrets. The game of silence.

~
+
~

KOAN: I have worked myself up
to this state of expectation in order
to accept nothing

And so I see this poem is getting me nowhere
& so I congratulate myself. And
he keeps silent knowing he cannot say what is

boundlessly clear to him himself

~
~


page forty-three

~
~

The point is having changed.  Nothing
is new.  Doing it otherwise or not
doing it.  I put here now
what I started with, knowing only
what it did not mean:

Fucking is being
fucked
also
,  said Soma, his clear
phalloid body mush-
roomed through his red
head.  Her white spots
like flowers in her hair.
The place is the same wherever you
find it, she added realizing
her presence, so to speak, for the first time.  A
stem from fat bottom to the fat
on the head

[4 November 1970]

~
+
~

They have finally come to tear down the dead tree
out back.  The man visiting my house has a Southern accent
which takes me back to Allapattah & drops me off here.
I hear the teeth of the saw eating through the wood.  I used to
have to gather it for fire.  More than 1 could carry.
Grandpa & Grandma are dead now.  Johnny & I went back
last June to see what the past held.  It held us
from ourselves, & each other.  We have cut our way
through that far now.  He showed me the fiery eyes or they
have seen us seeing them.  Nothing
left to say.  Everything now here still
has to happen, as it always did, though we
have had to suffer a quarter of a century
to let it.
Amanita, You whom I have neither seen nor eaten
but heard alone, accept what I have not given
away.  Nothing holds us here, but my stomach
cries in imitation of humpback whales.
Let it.  Turn up the volume.
The most exciting play I can make at this point
is no play.

[14 December 1970]

~~~

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