When it's over, I want to
say: all my life
I was a bride married to
I was the bridegroom,
taking the world into my
—Mary Oliver, "When Death Comes"
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
–Mary Oliver, “Sometimes”
Start with a basic principle: yauh peng, yauh leng - in English, inexpensive and beautiful. Empty, alone, a blank canvas five inches across, bounded by ears, separate yet susceptible, social mind virus. Catastrophe has already happened, from one view. Another angle, sees happiness, created whole-cloth out of disposition and a clean heart. Sense, nonsense and in between, a line can't be right, left and/or wrong. Layers, subcultures of lost, brittle men coalesce into reply guys, wienie wagers, and boojeymean lodged in the Callipygian cheeks of society, coprolite, surplus to requirements, in places normalized for deficits of wonder. Covering what stinks, habitual evidence of a lunch, long past Nature's Shitness Protection Program revealing God in what she's not, and what she is may be just another evaporated, dehydrated, Stone being. An unmagicked, McJunk world, three ring shit show, exponential, terrible, uncapable of bearing the intimacy of scrutiny. Changez vos amis, but there can be no separate survival or adjusted destinies. Truth comes last.
Not all are masterpieces, but there are some gems here.
“This week we celebrate Wendell Berry’s eighty-sixth birthday by sharing several of our staff’s all-time favorite essays, poems, short stories, and media clips published in Orion over the past four decades.”—Orion Staff, “The Best of Wendell Berry.” Orion. August 5, 2020.
Lovely, one minute poem.
Out in the cow field of life, there's lot of poop to be found. Some is fresh. Some is wet. Some is old. Some is round. Even if you catalog them all, and describe every detail. The main thing is knowing, how not to step in one.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day.—Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art.” Poetry Foundation. 1979.
In the deep, a subterranean cache,
drip echoes, hardened magma flows
turned rivers, unseeing fish splash,
the earth's heart is on fire, blows.
Aquifers, filtered-moisture fed
flushed, a sucking river vortex
pulled, underground caldera bed,
formed before the prefrontal cortex.
Gardener's vision, compulsive
separating out the amoeba shits,
from the snail's slime, repulsive,
drowning in what the mystic omits.
Love me, love my amoebas, gross
we came, why, reality is blobby,
mess is not something to diagnose
the only certainty: its sloppy.
Sea change, rich and strange
pour yourself into strange waters
our many lives are frozen, deranged
paper Jesuses offered up for slaughters.
If only, I.F., I'm fucked, too,
quale, a different cell, all
different moments, a different you,
same behavior keeps you a thrall.
Suffering. Dismiss the teacher,
sub-human, human, minor god,
in our luggage, every creature
carries the mask of self, a facade.
Can those in the Black Iron Prison
be saved? What of the Palm Tree Garden?
New life, from pain, is risen.
From lessons, there is no full pardon.
Somewhere, above, there's another
underground. Do not despair.
Wait in the depths, unseen Other,
a new sea/land awaits, I'll see you there.
The first in the first place,
The Others, standing beside us.
Aware of destruction, strange,
ineffectual, a matter of force.
The bare path, dark and closed,
From the stairs, an ascent of
story, a complicated service, clean,
psychological, a social alone.
The world has not yet been consumed
by the light of the stars. A universe
has all time and space, experience
a sliver, taste a slice of the whole.
Poem written primarily with Robin Sloan’s Writing With the Machine neural network with a sprinkle of Webster’s and some selection, moving about and adding of pieces to turn it into something that makes sense. Strikes me as a quick method of “writing” cut-up poetry. Although, given the source material for the neural network, these will be science fictiony until I can train up another corpus.
I think I’ll be able to try a King James version assisted composition, maybe tomorrow.