Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Upon Hearing Ives' Fourth" a poem

Upon Hearing Ives' Fourth


The Universal Questions Asks Itself

I answer first with city then with church

But outgrowing both, my overladen armor

Crawls the mountain, baited breath

Past precipice of smoking censors;

I Immerse myself, volcanic bath:

Baptismal lava, larval changes,

Rolls of lead fall from my limbs.

My breast plate fissures, Splits,

And rages forth the monarch pheonix.

Angelic apparitions arise around me

From glowing floor their hymn ascends

Snowlike ash falls soft as bell song.

The eternal rose, divinest heart

Opens full, receives the All.



\ ~@M@~ /


Friday, February 8, 2013

"Boundaries" an allay

A little Allay I've been working on for a week. I've been sporadically writing paragraphs here and there, but no sustained work lately. I hope my pause will soon be over. I do have a considerable amount of notes I've been writing. This one looks abstractly at the idea of boundaries and the problem of trangression.





            I know all I need to know by ignoring most else; I do what I desire to do by foregoing the rest. My comprehension of world knowledge is like watching a flood recede: first I glimpse mountain tops, the most obvious of truths, and slowly the area spreads. Or my comprehension is like a photograph that first downloads in poor resolution, than finer, than the finest. I am able to know these things by sheer repetition, by creatively revisiting these stories and ideas, by integrating them through inventive application to my own life. What matters like the personal? My sphere of being is this claustrophobic bit of housing: yet my imaginative spirit soars above, and flies unrestricted, having such a firm world anchor. Family, wife, husband, and children, give artists and thinkers a world anchor for their infinite dreams. We own by limitations.

            We stand in the center of our world. When we wish to center ourselves, to feel solid and convicted to our place, we allow a confluence of energies from the world to pour in. This is finding your place, stopping to reflect, saying your name to yourself, pausing over the day’s lessons. We comprehend our position, mortal and pointed. We take in the limits of our situation.

            Grasping that bit of territory and knowing it – perhaps some perfect form impresses us young: that is the calling. Some matter, some topic speaks to us, and we can hear it if we drown out all else. By gaining a friend, by befriending a person or an idea, we risk loving it, risk burning ourselves on its intensity, risk cutting our fingers over its sharpness. Part of life and study is recognizing the natural cleavage between ideas. We must listen to the subtle punctuation of things, of the words and work within yourself. We learn the use of space, how to apply ornamental chaos, how to merge order with clutter—both sound and vision set boundaries.

            What matters is making that intimate point of contact. In friendships, in love, in reading, the divine moments of contact are few, brief sparks of touch. For instance, there is a point of contact in each of Nietzsche’s aphorisms, some biographical datum, a mundane experience that inspires the commentary. Contact and commentary, the bird touches earth.

            We may run our hands over the opal a hundred times, but only in the moment of truth does the glint catch the glint in our eyes. To hold to a tight set of ideas, like Henry James and his Golden Bowl, a novel with basically four characters, the  claustrophobic intimacy requires in fact a veiled and literary distance between each. Carl Rogers and his one idea of empathy allows him to sink into it at last, but Nietzsche with his endless ideas must integrate his ideas as variations on the same. Are we nomads or farmers, seekers or owners? What is our territory?

            My body is my territory: I make it stand for all. There is no beauty that lacks analogy in me – and also no vice. Every adjective yet coined describes me in some way, and it is my independent integrity that lets it hold as one. So it is with all men and women. We are sacrosanct and yet must maintain and enforce borders. We access the all throuh the interface of our personal territory. In my little I have all.

            We transgress each others’ borders to learn where they stand, the way a two year old disobeys to understand her limitations. We dare too much, we try too much, our audacity shocks the gods. And so?

            The world is a circle, the world is a pyramid. In its hierarchical nature, we each have a place of relative subordination. Subordination is participation-- with this we share in the pride of the whole, of the group, of the institution. Small people in small roles are nevertheless grateful, for the group integrates their work, orders them when they couldn’t order themselves, allows them to concentrate their work, gives them tasks. Subordination empowers. But for the freespirit who chafes under other’s commands, such a subordination can only count as a loss of power. These speak to our spiritual needs, the shape of our soul, its borders and uses.

            I hit a limit with my beloved – want her to give, but she withholds. I ask so that she won’t give, I ask in a manner so she can’t. Thus I preserve myself. The same with my friend. My kaleidoscopic moods thicken my discourse, I induce a panic, a heart storm. They think only to escape, to leave me in silence. They are brilliant, they get my words. This simpler lover, so thin to language, I can’t baffle her. She is no coward. She wants things simple, insists I make them simple. And what do I want from these closest to my heart? I ask from my family for a world anchor, a tether for my dreams. My lovers and friends are so many dreams, are the energy of love that fills my circuits. But I need these hard realities to hold me down. My friends are my territory, but I must respect the laws of their being. How do I press into them?

            A thick set of sharp words, contradictory, confusing, and I free some space for myself. Love is a scalpel, its cut is clean. Yet love is circumlucatious, indirect, unlike power and its bold lines and angels. A man ambition, a woman charm. Love is life’s fluid, but the force of will wrests it into place. I mingle love and power in my passion's creation, it is the beauty of Pandora's jar, the beauty of the Trojan horse.

            The mundane world is as crossmarked as a chess board with territories and limitations. In the fantastic space of the imagination breaches abound which balance the strain of literal restrictions. Seduction is a story teller. What do all these threats and promises amount to, anyway, but appeals to imagination? The ache of hope denied: what was never ours is taken away. For words bind, and the ideas that are the substance of words, they shape our spiritual world. Gossip binds the group. Philosophy gives it foundation.

            We speak as we do for grounding, our contracts and vows and every manner of pledge bind us to duty and impose potential punishments on our left and on our right. Necessity places us on our way: we need to seek the world. Life’s end is not the end of life; life is a whole project, each part goes. We seek the simple things of life and rejoice in them, drinking water that requires no transmutation, divine in its own fluidity, accepting love’s fluid and the kiss of kindness, for kindness fills the wound. We need a few images, a few moments of touch, and we are substantiated, we are held upright and intent. Just a few images, repeated utterly – a few images to own and use.

            “I have always a picture in my mind when I am composing, and I work up to it,” said Beethoven. “All music is program music,” said Charles Ives. That these musicians began with the image, with the eyes, bespeaks how love is born of truth, how love correctly used is the flowing of truth’s image. Each of my affects has its image, the carved chamber that shapes and differentiates the energy. I exhaust the charge of each lust’s image, I let the deep images bleed themselves out, if I dislike them and would have them spent. But the eternal fountains give me a source inexhaustible. With them I echo music to its source and find a way to unite eyes and ears. A man is seduced by his eyes, a woman her ears, for power is a matter of fear, of boundaries, of spaces, whereas music is a matter of love, of union, of time. Words penetrate and burst the boundaries.

            We transgress, we insult each other. Though Christianity makes forgiveness the supreme virtue the act of forgiveness there are worse things one can do than transgress. We know the intimate things before us, the mundane ordinary things. Exceptional glints don’t stay long enough to be known. We must transgress the ordinary.By understanding what is here now before you, you will understand all things as a key of common brass opens the door to every treasure. By actively attempting what we can with those common things, with our daily practice, with what we do always, we break through the outer layers. We take it into the still of our heart. The place of silence drowns all distractions. It takes familiarity to focus so intently on a thing. I seek in them a few eternal forms. I must transgress to know my place.

            Some forms never get worn out – instinctual and deep in the heart of a social situation, they ever interest us. Some friends, some people are limited, at least to us, they pass by, their promise is balked, their hope worn out. But for the two who have made that intimate connection, that touch of heart to heart, all injuries and accusations between the two are finally shrugged off: they rough all weather, they outpace the longest race, and this for love of each other.

            We regret our faults, lacking a sense for their necessity. Our regret is also necessary, but surmountable; it must be transfigured: guilt matures into pride. Our transgressions are cartographers. Our attempts and temptations urge us beyond our self-imposed constraints. And yet every night we “Pride our perfection in all of our doings.” The universe, she is the Encloser, her love is close as clothe. She can neither be outraged or wronged. We can commit no ultimate wrong. Our inner being is affirmative.

            Having that ultimate affirmation of our soul, and with the self-increasing yes that is our innermost self, we master time, we sing music, for music sets boundaries, as birdsong sets territories. Mastering Eru, the various tempos of life, and having a musician’s sense of timing means recognizing natural breaks of our daily life and respecting distances and silence. It isn’t our transgressions, but our justifications that damn us. Insult and injure, but be silent. Think it over. In trying to explain your mistakes you make them worse. For you in your heart don’t even understand why you do what you do: such a wisdom comes later. It is enough to watch, reflect, and consider. In this you build up your world.

            The all consuming I of the conscious mind is the world architect. His gaze is the guiltless feast: he takes all in and incorporates it. What we see and experience is fatal, should be taken as providence, should be used as a gift, no matter what the cost or suffering, for all of life’s materials must be digested, and the ultimate adamantium from our melting pot comes from utter inclusion. Tongue is desire, form is beauty, and change is evil. We accept it all, we take it in. We accept and use our place. We accept our work, our home.

            Family is intense, the basic situation. Family is duty, friendship is freedom. We are happiest with our friends, but securest with our families, for blood is a bond. We are loyal unto death to our family, but take liberties with our friends – are able to make such leaps.

            That fusion and confusion of love, the reader, the admirer, who sends us love with softly brushing ardor – she manages in her innocent admiration to justify every effort, to receive. When we press her love too far, our own heart is scarred. I would give you everything, but I wonder if I am worthy enough to give you something. The fruit of my lips is for your strength, and my breath would touch the pulse of your neck. Every word is baited, but takers seldom see; I am ever casting my love for you. How shall I ordain and establish a more perfect union? I feel you are my heart’s ultimate mate, yet would you grudge my impertinence? Grace never grudges. Be patient and composed. Soon my struggles will find composition.

            I would melt all boundaries between you and me. Your words like a wand revive me. Yet your critical eye falls on my diction. Our words would be soft as kisses. I am faced with love’s imbalance, as always. I must do better: I must let go.          A time of withdrawal, of internalization; in my solitude I am finally myself.

            For failing the extensive, I turn intensive. Failing the socialsphere, I slip into the mythosphere. I fall into my ideas, into my ordeal of language. I read my way out. I write the walls, I write the ground. The sky is ink. My house was ever a mirror of my mind, and what I first wrote I later became, created, made, and lived. I recall my virtues: I maintain simple order, so I order independence into my days; I go to the roots; I forget the pain we’ve shared, the faults I‘ve done. I would undo my transgression, yet I’ve learned therefrom.

            I am visited by the angel of dusk, the child of time, my verbal echo, the playmate of my privacy; I dance with my pen and with pent desire express the goodness of solitude, the pleasure of personal bliss. This distance, this retreat into my own territory, this tower of intensity, here I find the power to dare it all again, to try again, to overcome my limitations and shrug off my immaturity. We drop a mile of husk once the inch of germination takes hold, and that stolen grasp of contact, that moment of utter touch, punctured the shell of my heart, let my creative light bleed out, and now I tend my seed with such light, as new works grow from the manure of the old.

            And thus I come back to Ama, the utter divine, for you are home to me, your name is the perfume on my lips. When the world repulses me, when my friends avert their eyes, when my readers squint and wonder, I at last and always return to you, and you, as always, to me. You are the true God because nothing could offend you, nothing repulses you, nothing contradicts you. My heart is for you always. You are God because I could never doubt you. Whatever I love is already the image of you. Whatever direction I love in, it is already you; wherever I cry or shout, you patiently receive it, and give me eye for eye what I give you. I am such a fussy infant, with my demands, but you grow with me.

            And so I fall back into my territory, my virtues. The simple order, that is placement; the intensive study, that is repetition; the direct truth, that is naming; the unbreakable commitment, that is love; the aspiring optimism, that is cultivation; the pragmatic practicality, that is simplicity. It is a daily life philosophy you give me, the layers and reaches into these mundane things, but you are always behind them, so no matter where I am or with who, I am at that moment alone with you. This simple circle, the pragmatism of simple circuits, tells me to cut clutter, to cease wandering, to come back to the basics, and to integrate all the treasures I’ve wrested from the world, to make the treasure house of my soul, with hives of gold, where you and I forever share love and the growth of our perfection. I may have breached propriety, but I return wiser and stronger for my attempt. The question is whether my lover will again enjoin your trust to me.


\ ~@M@~ /