DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford
Thursday, March 15, 2007
In the mirror
she sees where a spider has crossed a web
and tied it, crossed and tied it again,
then, where the red half-shell of yesterday's
lobster fades and stiffens -- swimmerets, claws
and compound eyes on stalks forever pale
as oysters. It hangs in the old fishnet
dangling across the ceiling and walls
like a web, between fat rounds
of cork floats
and bits of abalone shell shining like
mother-of-pearl. She knows for killing
baited underwater traps are fine, but
razors are better, and vertical cuts more efficient
than horizontal. A dark red rain
diffuses in bathwater like pale pink smoke
curling about breasts, navel, thighs.
The last thing she sees:
steam rising from her bent knees
in the hot tub.
(Another Salvador Dali. Dali wrote of lobsters and telephones in his book, The Secret Life of Salvadore Dali.)
The sky is grey everywhere except toward the north. There the winter sun breaks like a wound, red as pyrocantha that grow wild beside the gate. Firethorns, we like to call them. The south wind blows warm for stripped February, starlings come and go, pushed leaflike up and down the steep sky--blustering black Furies. The raucous birds (drunk with berries) fill our Chinese Elm, its branches black and bare as upturned roots. We lean our bicycles, watch the sky clear, and dry ourselves of rain, kick off our shoes, forgiving the wet, the water, perfumed droplets, scattered pearls that gleam on hands and smiles like deep rose gems.
THE TEN THOUSAND NAMES OF GOD
First, clear a workspace, make room. Maybe
before you have finished, you will have broken
the code. Have a seat. Pay attention.
Look out the window before you begin to count.
Take notes: the sky is liquid with falling water.
Find pathways on the glass. Begin.
100,000 light years illuminate the diameter
of the Milky Way. 1,000,000 kilometers equals
the diameter of the sun. Therefore:
in a universe full of personable gods,
or brutal gods, vengeful or vain and hungry gods,
only in our dreams can we imagine the 10,000 names
of just this 1 god. It has no bearing on the universe.
There are no rational or real numbers, maybe
there are more names than grains of sand--and every name
is precious. Write: YHWH. Write: El Shaddai
and Shiva, Ruach haQudesh (The Holy Spirit), and Brahma.
Allah alone has 999 names. There is no frozen spot
of light that remains anonymous. Try Abhir the Almighty.
Try Kadosh the Holy One, Shaphat the Judge. The list
grows long, and reads like a book of arcane Jewish poets,
a bounded set of geometric points that can be enclosed
within a box. When the sky clears we find that Pluto
is now called 134340--in a projectile motion of falling bodies
where t=Time and a=Acceleration to gravity. Maybe
God's 10,000 names are really a number, a googleplex of
numbers. Note: this is reputed to be the largest number
with a name, being a 1 followed by a google of 0's,
in a deleted neighborhood encountered in a study of limits.
Is the thunder an interval? Is the rain a set union?
Does each drop have a name?
(Okay, what am I saying here? I have no idea. This is all bulls**t, and I have NO mathematical understanding whatsoever....)
After the close woven touch,
Thorn and velvet tongue-tapping
After the firm dovetailing of nerves,
Gunner, crack-shot, shell and ball
Bridging the half-way halves--
(Taking the moon by the teeth)
The seeded flesh
Masters the inhaling womb.
Galleries of manshaped boys
Kicking a bellyful of heels,
Roll, grasp, leap toward the burst light,
Tear through thickets of bent bone
And drowned dark, crush and wane
In the cruel sweet and endless forever,
And empty in the capsized bed.
The salt and watery boys
Riding the shipwrecked waves
(An old poem, written when I was young and easy, and under the spell of Dylan Thomas.)
- ► 2012 (33)
- ▼ 2007 (6)
- Joyce Ellen Davis
- 1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.