The Waking

The Waking:

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

– Theodore Roethke

Education for Leisure, by Carol Ann Duffy

Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets.

I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.
We did that at school. Shakespeare. It was in
another language and now the fly is in another language.
I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name.

I am a genius. I could be anything at all, with half
the chance. But today I am going to change the world.
Something’s world. The cat avoids me. The cat
knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself.

I pour the goldfish down the bog. I pull the chain.
I see that it is good. The budgie is panicking.
Once a fortnight, I walk the two miles into town
for signing on. They don’t appreciate my autograph.

There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he’s talking to a superstar.
He cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.

i am bic

An Ode To My Monitor
What ho! What’s this on my wood desk,
Something too large for words;
A screen so bright to be grotesque,
Clearly the work of nerds!
Ratio and size, sixteen to nine
Rotating stand to turn
The screen, not bound to the landscape,
Or such worldly concerns;
A guide that serves to hold the lines
So the cables can’t intertwine
Rounds out a perfect shape.

An Ode to my Hypothalamus
Get Fucked.

silent, still

A city frozen
under stars and amber lights
dreams of wind and earth

where stillness serves to lift the burden
of concrete spirits
and sleeping streets sink into brief respite

the sharp air bringing such a hush upon the world
even the birds refuse to break the peace

in this, all things agree

the snow is a blanket of silver dust on the world
the moon a bright cut across velvet sky.

NO DIET SODA, PLEASE!

ode to skinny puppy
a poem by jairus khan

oh skinny puppy
how great you are with your fake organs and meat grinders
how happy you seem covered in blood
will you come to my town?
would you come to my town?

i spoke with a man who says he knows you
he said ‘i can help you see them!’
and so i talk to him. he is a Tour Manager.

but sometimes i wonder what it is he’s saying
i will give him venue details and make him an offer
and then he will ask me to make him an offer.

maybe he’s drunk

i look at your rider, and i glimpse a part of you
a part that mandates 48 mono channels and 12 channels of 1/3 octave eq inserted on each mix output
and 12 more of compression
we can give you these things, sweet friends
and your (1) 6 pack dr. pepper in cans
i, like you, like to eat (1) bag tortilla chips with (1) jar salsa
but why do you need (2) packs of zig-zag red rolling papers?

oh puppy, my puppy
do you not like canada?
do you not remember how tasty leslie’s bbq chicken is?
maybe you are not out of her jam yet
and so you do not need us (yet)

but the jam will be here
even if you are not.

Thirty Aethyrs

Where have you gone?

Are you in the silence? The spaces between? Are you, like me, still searching?

He was here, last night. We listened to the walls speak, heralds to the poems of brick and stone.

He threw a blanket over the stars, and pulled them into the lake. We watched as the water sparkled, royal and dazzling; and when the sun left the sky, there was nothing there at all.

Everything was new, bathed in blue waves. This land held no shadow, only places the light could not witness.

We made sacred space, and I whispered my dreams to you. (When I see you next, I’ll tell you again.)

Do you hear him? Are you shivering?

He said:
In the oceans of the moon,
Swimming squidlike and squalid;
This bright moon is a liquid,
The dark earth is a solid.

Sialia Sialis

Bluebird
by Charles Bukowski

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

Deeper

I try and take the feelings away by absorbing myself in the mundane: cooking, cleaning, going for a walk, having a cigarette; but this only leaves me feeling hollow.

I fear to indulge myself in this, I fear to try and find any richness or beauty in it, where I would’ve abandoned myself when I was younger and wiser. Perhaps it is that I fear not living up to my own standards, or that I don’t think I can reach the stars anymore. I don’t think I can do what I need to, what is both necessary and appropriate.

I think it provokes something close to ‘rage’ in me, however little I understand of that feeling. I have to stop myself, and try and deal with the world for just a second just another second until it stops and calms and stops and stops and just fucking shuts up and

Then I am myself again.

There is a poem by Dennis Lee called Deeper. A quote would not be inappropriate:

Often at night, sometimes
out in the snow or going into the music, the hunch says,
“Deeper.”
I don’t know what it means.
Just, “Push it. Go further. Go deeper.”

I thought that this poem represented what I’ve been feeling, and although the poem still speaks to me in some ways, it isn’t what I thought it was. This is not a hunch I feel I should follow; it is a drive, something as primal as sex and somehow more complex, more jaded.

I could exhaust all the words I have ever known trying to capture its essence, to trap it in metaphor. The notion itself is so inadequate as to be laughable.

But still, I find myself typing.

I wonder if those around me have the patience or capacity to tolerate me, if I withdraw and soul search. If I settle into meditation, speaking only koans, or begin to act with excess, would they understand? Would they think that this was a choice I had; to feel, to think, to be forced to act on this?

Perhaps they would assume that I am choosing to exercise what I consider to be ‘freedoms’, when in fact I am finding myself with none. When I find myself forced into a path of action, without recourse.

Perhaps a worse fate would be to find myself in the thick of melodramatic prose.

Still, I am urged deeper, against all logic or emotion.

Beyond choice, desire, or rationale, it is my fear that if I do not go, I will lose myself in the effort of keeping my head above the water, and that would be the greater loss.

It is simply a question of whether I choose to prepare for it, and take a breath before diving, or find water tearing the air from my lungs.