Saturday, February 28, 2015

HEART THREAD 231 & 232


When I said enough you weren’t listening
a phone rings far away and only there
why do we care about the colors aren’t they the whole story
all the colors of the 21 Taras the single blue of the Medicine Buddha
look around you’ll see them everywhere
on different instruments how can one note be the same
or there is no such as same
when the mind is busy we are no years old
night and morning fragrant linden flowers fade now
lindens and cicadas and sunspots who else is there
tiny homeopathic breeze to make the skin joy
color is the other word for it. 


Does it even sound like this
is it music or does it mean
he asked an anger like layer of low cloud
but there was only blue and shapeliness was you
there is no plausible verb for being
too many people were far away and didn’t care
the pink and tinseled rider in the circus
who knows from where such people come
if people they are if come they do
I started watching as a child and never stopped
in the barnyard with ruddy feathers
the names of creatures are the same as fate.

Friday, February 27, 2015

HEART THREAD 229 & 230


But from its top I can behold the sea
across the street our little stream in spate she said
ironies and departures
you know how to get here start from here
a little movement in the leaves says I’m alive
everything I give you is a sign
this’m is the blank sign
carry it with you till rain or sun
shadows the blankness with messages
then think they come from me
who have nothing else to give you
just one word after the last word. 

Pause in the middle of meaning and mean something else
there is no road or rule just treefrogs singing
just blue sky gleaming through dense green leaves
everything is an interruption
the newborn innocent screaming
a day red in the face angry at wordless men
they try their ruler games but weather is god
I’m not saying I’m just saying
if this is not me talking then who are you
from the torn purse no gold coins spill
long low quiet run of Avenue R
civilization is built on personal discomfort.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

HEART THREAD 227 & 228


Of course do it for the other the hot blue sky
what hurts us helps the corn
protein the decisive factor in cultural history
egg white is intellect tempera and madrigal
for I was another country when I slept
and now am you
Interdependence Day each man a king
belonging to one another we are spoken from Being
he was the only one who made a little sense and look what happened
marauding mind trapped in a stale idea it had
horror of hurting another for the sake of an idea
Bruno burnt among flowers.


You don’t need me to tell it is never right to kill
Holocaust or unsolved murder
only the numbers are different
to kill one person is to kill the world
capital punishment corrodes the state
to kill one woman destroys the human race
Jesus was a man murdered by the state
that’s all you need to know about the government
no one ever has the right to kill
this is the only thing I know
and out of it I lift stone by stone my feeble tower
to make a work where all of you are safe.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Heart Thread 225 & 226


Born again normal in a nullish world
dance in the drugstore waiting for your pills
description is prescription
ask the subway florist for gardenia
you’ll see why later she explained
walk along the esplanade all those ships are thee
nothing’s better left unsaid
or are you Irish before all and grassy
I want to know where the lost ones live
touching our fingertips together is enough to start the dance
a flaw in the pattern is the meaning of the weave
a gnat drinking salt from a child’s eye. 


Music finds you
it was made to do that
to be small and slip in everywhere
the crawl of beauty through the null
you don’t hear anything if you listen
don’t listen to the quartet like a mechanic checking the engine
listen to music the way you go to sleep all of you at once
anything else is college stuff
required courses in tonality reality
a proud humility is the way to do anything
listen reverent as a king hearing the first robin in spring
can you do that can you take it gently in the hands of your ears.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HEART THREAD 223 & 224


Then again the linden trees this year blossomed
we sleep and wake in the scent of them
pale obscure little flowers that fill the night air
but am I a character in your epic
uneasy narrative of words spewing words
stochastic craziness full of ancient Greek
when I just want to smell the flowers
rest again on someone’s cheek
as if the war had never shattered my electron shell
left me gasping naked on the shingle beach
before the monsters crept back to the deep
and the ospreys dropped fish for me to eat. 


Long comber by the shore of ease
why did we ever leave
who are you talking to now
in red or in bed
the harsh bondage of rhyme
subtle bondage of sound
by clang alone bring matter in                         J.T.
will heal the legend lost souls of this pale day
find me kindling for my water
dig a hole in air and shove me in
the sound of a word is a niche around me

sense turns me marble from head to toe.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

HEART THREAD 221 & 222


I never knew anything it was all made up
all bluff and prophecy
willful history of our feigned race
imaginary archive of testicular witness
none of the cathedrals were real
none of the bridges skating rinks nudist beaches
stockmarkets rainstorms Glastonbury
all loving lies I made for you
all Plotinus all Shakespeare Nag Hammadi
the lotus garden where the princess yawned
brass basins of the Temple the rites of man
national debt all lies and all for you. 


So the perception of the other is the first mistake
till the Mind is peace and luminous
once it senses other all the stuff begins
the offerings and arsenal the blood and fear
until the only cure is to become the other
sink into other, make the glad of the other your whole work
then the mind’ll be one again
full of its own serene excitements
beyond the dark and light
try it if you don’t believe me
do enough for the other and nothing for me
let the ocean show the quick way home.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

HEART THREAD 219 & 220


You are the debt that has to be repaid
your habit patterns are your only cage
stay far away from wanting more
more humility among the trees
the cicadas have done their work and gone
leaving each Egyptian carapace behind
our windowscreen and blacktop and the lawn
worn out from sheer song fallen
Babylonian with black and gold
I am your mother too don’t you remember
London Bridge and looked upstream
into the far west we come from now.


Call it weather it will watch you bird-eyed with wary
you came to rape our fields and steal our sheep
nothing we can do to stop you but it can
it knows the way you Troyans trust in signs
the white pig nestled in leaf shadow
the cloud walking girl-like up the oak-weary hill
we will give you more signs than you can read
you’ll never trust your bed again with all the dreams
this is our land and we are semaphores
we can’t do anything at all but fill your senses
every sense complete and all the information false
the way only the truth can really lead you wrong.

Friday, February 20, 2015

HEART THREAD 217 & 218


To measure a day by a meaning
lean crystals sift into your lap
the varieties of greens exhaust vocabulary
no need to describe what everyone remembers
the whole street a secret garden a hidden sign
even a name knows how to hold your hand
wise fingers apportion peace and war
but have I forgiven all those I hurt
shutters up on the primeval coast
we help each other wade ashore
and nothing more
the gift just happens the sun just rose. 


Do it the easy way begin with someone else
we dance in trance a rhetoric of selfishness
all we have to give our bodies are
we choose our functions in a balanced world
whatever it is it always works
that’s the mind for you
no escape from the balanced aquarium
we live and die as suits another and we are that other
so relax and try to cheat less on your taxes
it doesn’t work it all comes out of you
can’t save can’t spend can’t mar can’t mend
free will is an advertising ploy. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

HEART THREAD 214, 215, and 216


Sometimes finish something be enough to begin with
‘a balanced aquarium’
Antin explained when we were kids
so much I learned from him I'll never admit
plants feed fish excrete feed plants
oxygen out of nowhere
only the sun needs helium
at the other end of its cosmos last dream’s gentlest touch
thrill the way a bird does or morning light
mockingbird on the bridge in rain
where herons often glide from pond to bay
I’m gasping for breath airless in Gaza
to see me suffer puts the leaves to sleep. 

Night stuff thick
ankles of consciousness
slow drag a thickened broth
a cake of beef fat offered to birds
there are days music will not listen
means that no one hears
after a month on the sea it is hard to be anybody else
say it with your hands the way the night
is religion only something other people do
glamor of the ivory corpus constantly reminds
once there was a place where these things mean
thank God we have to make our own.


Walk over there and meet myself departing
signs of death I cannot find my shoes
lost my heart in the Rockaways
began to think that love was made of skin
cathedrals walk beside you when you go
I flew over the Hadramawt and Mars looked back
the meaningless politeness of the desert rock
the empty cup I offer to my friends
how little I’ve given, how much proposed
littoral birds the afikomen found at last
set me my place at the table near the door
sometimes the sight of food makes me despair.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HEART THREAD 212 & 213


This is Book VIII of the Aeneid
we finally go inland here
where the dark river loves us
into the unknown interior of your house
where maples hang overslow waters
when we look down to see our faces we see nothing
the water has faces of its own
animals (this is all about animals) begin to talk now
we write home saying “animals talk to us now
what are we going to do with our silences
our precious silence?” but no letters come back
deer run right into us we can’t understand the crows.


I thought she was grieving in her ogival cloak
her face white but when I bent to console her
she was laughing she comforted me
she put words in my mouth I wake half-healed
have to live this clear thing not just know it
her word was sweet and I spoke it all day
in the dark country where everybody lives
keening sometimes or laughing at the faces
peering out from the hillside ancient still young
their skin soft as lamb’s ears pale as mistletoe
they look as if they remember me
but who am I now?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Robert Kelly and Susan Quasha in Woodstock, part 2

Robert Kelly and Susan Quasha present their book, Winter Music, at the Kleinert Gallery in Woodstock NY, part 2 of 2

Robert Kelly and Susan Quasha event in Woodstock

Robert Kelly and Susan Quasha present their book, Winter Music, at the Kleinert Gallery in Woodstock, NY, part 1 of 2

HEART THREAD 210 & 211


So pleasure it is, pleasure and praise
the rain has stopped the colors last
don’t look back it’s only a flower gaining on you
only a womb anxious to reclaim me
the last night on the island I saw exact in dark my mother’s face
let me learn to say this countenance
expressionless veridical completely there
have I lived up to anything she proposed
we don’t know what we ask of one another
what we give we hope is what was wanted
such gifts are absolute no giver no receiver
have I ever given you anything at all? 


Solitude, light rain, kindness kiss the sweat off his back
let him go the world’s big enough
to be big enough for the smallest words
argent, a tower gules and then he said
from this window she can see anyone who comes and goes
but everyone is upside-down
man coughing in the morning breeze
how does she keep all that she sees from floating away
to build a thing and then believe in it
a tower or a testament
Dostoyevsky railed against mere chemistry
the bonds that love us into one another’s lives.   

Sunday, February 15, 2015

HEART THREAD 208 & 209


Forgive that little lude or play between the going on
I lost the knack of not answering myself
I stand accused of lying down a folly to the Greeks
of rising up again at cock-crow and my people know me not
for I was married to a windmill and a lake
in summer rain every green a different color
I set it down meaning to revere it later
but then came Cossack horsemen through the aching shtetl of my brain
and who knows now where reverence went
thirteen Jews at a table telling the joke that is God
who when he was lifted up healed all the world but not himself
sunrise from the earth he had no self to heal. 


I’m still with Abbot Benedict still with Malory
cannonshot was supposed to be the end of us
the middle time we called it when we were young in it
now it’s only now and Internet is our Maimonides
everything lasts everything changes no one remembers
pleasure is the only gift study how to please
it lasts as long as Christmas does seventeen years and come again
I want to know the cycle of each thing
lifespan of the chickadee of Niagara
of me for that matter but nobody knows
how well we’d live if we knew the date of our demise
olĂ©! I die today.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

HEART THREAD 206 & 207


If a thing can be itself and still go on
that is the raw meat in the rhapsode’s song
people all over pretending to be me
clear as Chesterton in the gloaming of the evening
would I were my father’s favorite word
not twitch so while I’m saying so
I can hardly read the word I write why I need you
there are spirits here antagonists of air
is it prayer that sifts all round us and we breathe in
what one word be scents the garden of Adonis
sacrifice means tabu only gods can have it
what would the world be like if we were in it.

Each one a trick question do you smoke
no I only quote
comparisons are bad for the environment
don’t sit next to me while you’re quoting
I never want to hear what wise men said
do you think I want to walk out in someone else’s clothes
don’t make such a fuss just forget about it
forgetting is the hardest thing of all
that’s why you fled your island isn’t it
that’s why you sailed up the dark river where not even the trees knew you
that’s why you write down what other people say
you make them up to talk to you so somebody remembers.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

HEART THREAD 204 & 205


Maddening stillness of the summer air
here as if nobody’s there, nobody cares
I come from wind and you far more
crystal movement of the invisible
emphasis belongs to humankind
gods write the book we put the italics in
the trouble is as with Hopkins’ beauty
it never seems not to be a poem
never a simple language thing that happens by
still seizes the breath or chills the heart
there has to be nobody listening when I speak
so that the words break free to all of you. 

Now of the cicadas from their long sleep
awoke and bred and did and sang and now to bed again
what are we to some glorious animal
eloquent in hyperspace our spit their silver
because we make much of things
art is Latin for the way of making
the way of making is so our only way
childish wits suppose we too were made
no god ever had the art of us
we came out of the sea and from the ground
we mated in bold daylight and we did
and we do.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

HEART THREAD 202 & 203


Could I have heard another when I thought was now
leave every I out and see what it means
real presence split the log he is there
drink salvation from an empty glass
too many voices for so few words
we suffer from the vice of versa
they marched into battle with The World Turned Upside Down
revolution only benefits the landlords old or new
would she kiss the icon of a commissar?
at some point or no point it will get tired of me
then what will you do
not even the wind in your ears?

Starting and stopping is the same as love
properties of archaic Tocharian
guide me grammar through the spiel of trees
obscure selvedge of a vast weave
a carpet made of sand
flowers half faded dinky here and there
your footsteps rearrange the floor
walking and talking like a blessed Greek
they didn’t know how lucky they were
pagans are the only ones left laughing
after the grimoire of the bank accounts
the Grand Guignol of local government.

Monday, February 9, 2015

HEART THREAD 200 & 201


Don’t put up more signs
I hear them hammer their stakes in
for sale signs by the frightened houses
how poignant to move among the living
how her body leaps to welcome circumstance
word the editor put in place of ‘God’
haunted by temple friezes a harlot in heaven
noble souls entrusted to my care
catch a reflection of the rising sun
outline with pencil the shadows of the leaves                 R.H.
till all the trees are written down
then sleep beside it till the rooster crows.

I hear him over the hill or is that the sun in my eyes
a picture long enough to wrap around your waist
and go romancing in an old book
slippery pavement on the road to Neaux
in this cicada year the moon says less
moon no bigger than a mosquito
moon buzzing in my eyes
till the cock crowed and here I am
cicadas fuguing with the buzz-buzz in my ears
with one hypnotic pass I wake me up
look Robert there are days inside the day
the birds are gone but the sky is still there.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

HEART THREAD 198 & 199


The only thing that can’t go on is going on
every perceptual quantum begins it all again
only the qualia sometimes linger
o Abelard o quanta qualia
the golden sabbaths of the wounded heart
wanting to know how to make it go
don’t let the children come in
all birds belong to you and fish are mine
pale wild-eyed ones swimming in my cavern
we who walk along the ground the strangest are
misshapen by desire bent over a bad book
our whole lives pictured there in code.

Muybridge photos of a breaking heart
a daffodil in haste a monkey in a window
a dreary paper they call The Daily Olds
deer are watching from the new-ground woods
how many years have they been here
looking, crashing into our cars, waiting for something
waiting for us to do something about ourselves
units of intelligent remorse
all the broken answers
war is never an option war is never
bring me your hand to hold at least
the old man’s sword used to cut bread.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

HEART THREAD 196 & 197


How heavy the weight of blank paper
carried all my life in blunt photography
spiritual effluent of Eusapia Palladino
the crux of psychic plausibility
does all this light come out of one woman’s body
is there any other source for splendor in the world
om tare tutare ture soha
she is sixteen still green in the ways of men
and she alone can save us from calamity
or tell us who can
listen to the green girl at last
the ever-virgin the truth the wisdom sleeps beside me. 


As if in mime an elegant body told
the whole story from grass to cathédrale
innumerable declensions of her single noun
the dancer absolute
so the mild persistent taste of moving anywhere
from lawn to grass again the poor smell of money too
we live in poverty we shadows of some great wealth
the potentates whose kingdoms fit in their wallets
they rule the world but we could too
as this lone dancer springs up from the sounding floor
and with a single swerve of movement
changes space forever in the way we see.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

HEART THREAD 193 & 195


The stones begin to speak now
tell me all I know
long ago but all too close the pines
whose house is that with one light showing
I dug a well where no water was
I built a staircase down to solid rock
no root cellar no smell of winter apples
spread the table with no cloth
on each empty plate a spoon of dust
don’t waste the fuel of breath on flames
sit quiet with the shivered memories of your life
now you can do nothing but listen and no one speaks.


Posthuman is to be beyond desire
to want no more than wood does
standing in the sunlight in the snow
making more of us by being so
and those stones know us too
one day calcium will have a voice
garnet in the Adirondacks speak
red wisdom to the risen poor
be enough the other side to be!
this is politics the throb of music
Bartok Beethoven Bruckner Bach.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

HEART THREAD 191 & 192


So much denial kings before Eden
nothing was ever, all the rest was obvious
Orpheus exiting from the underside of words
can only tell the mind that comes to speak
but o no o no the music always wins
flee back to ferly land and talk to daisies
feast on clover and try to be
superbly be, as if a lion walked off a coat of arms
and moved into one turret on my tower  
and we lived together beside an almond tree
the weather always told us what to do
look over the wheat field a ship comes sailing. 


And there are the children at the gate
the psalmists keening by the hilltop shrines
the lean poesy of renunciation
when praise is all the air that feeds
go where every leaf has a word on it
our holy fire once for all
it spoke and said Do not be all male
for the masculine alone is weak
terribly weak and needy of conflict to assert
what cannot be asserted
the unprovable axiom of manhood
building empires wrong again and again wind blows away.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

HEART THREAD 189 & 190


He will be safer as a ferly-man if men they have or are
he will be a leper-man in ordinary land
his voice the bell to warn away the fearful
because language is a holy terror believe me
hide yourself in the silence of story
there’s always something left to believe
dust for sparrows said the old aesthete                    R. de G.
be bathed clean in what defiles us
Arbeit, heilende Welle in what defines us                    F.B.
how far inland we’ve been carried by the wave
left where no other wave can come
lost among friends in a house of one’s own. 


Poet heers a worke beseeming you                    C.M.
not war but warbling kiss the girls and make them cry
all the holy raptures of the local mind
when I wanted clarion Gabriel renew the world
now blow your horn and if you can
shock the morbid loves into new play lila
mother of the mind the play of light all over
the light was like a woman in the trees man on a rock
and in our little ears the mountain spoke
a fleet of do’s and don’t’s assails the lucid now
I am the hole in your pocket
your hand can’t leave me alone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

HEART THREAD 186 & 187


Now there was a man the ferly folk took away                  R. Kirk
they brought him to a time between times and loved him there
left a lookalike back home to do his job
while he did theirs and the work they had to do
is all praising and delighting in them
for they were born before the world and wonder still
what manner people we are who hardly know them
let alone praise their sacred everlasting beauty
so he lived with them in some blessed island
till he understood at last what pleasure is
and shared it with the little brooks and the trees
and the ferly folk marveled at his industry. 

Lie here because there is nowhere else ever
the word gave birth to me and I may have failed the word
friend’s face among the flowers smiling up
the image does not please me you never can
tell what a smile is smiling at
animal wisdom I need you near
only a beast knows when to turn away
a man by the nature of time will walk to the abyss
Empedocles Master of Consequences to vanish in thin air
hum hum hymn of the volcano
a story broken in half we hold the stub
the other part of it or anything blows away.