a mound of bearshit laced with berries tiny insects have
deep into the Ground of Being. Dogs raised
to pull sleds
are paddling through lukewarm melt. Signs at
borders hunker under
the sun’s leveling glare, “passing
from manifestness, overt-
ness, shining to concealing and
Stepping over, or sliding under a barbed wire fence and
along the path, the old stories “no longer provide
The universe is more complex, beautiful, more conscious
world humans began to domesticate some 11,000 years
“the very first cities (were) the very first forms of social
descent beckons / as the ascent beckoned.” -W.C.
an era of diurnal discoveries, algorithms, paradigm
the time an aspiring poet acquires the requisite skills,
tenured professor is living on a feted past. No
late style. No
“return to oneself in a revivied form,”(4)
they flew, two in the morning, raining.”(5)
a nightmare of disasters, a ruse of variables hidden
in a wilderness riddled with Kant’s philosophy of a
is not the world in which, struggling uphill, sweat flows
telos of “when the phantoms are gone and the shaken
first sees reality.”(6) Is
there is nowhere shady to go from here?
do we become when we don’t become ourselves?
The my of “my child” is woven tight as a spider’s
A philosopher rolls up his sleeves as if raising blinds
to shed light on questions Anaximander, Anaximenes,
and Thales raised 26 centuries ago:
What is consciousness? What am I? What was there
before the universe began?
Nothing is intimately understood, only principles are
enacted. Lecturing on anthropocentrism, the scholar
folds in and links out. Philosophy is fantasy too.
Clambered up the mountain path to visit a mineral friend.
Hands splayed on her dense gray bulk: “Old Stony Face,
do you remember Scylla and Charybdis?”(7)
There’s no safe passage through. Her dry reply.
Two horses stand parallel to each other, old friends
in the coy morning light. Further down the
road a tin horse,
Rocinante, “ranked above all others,”(8) is
a splintered wooden cross planted on a mound
Close the texts that say we’re set
apart from other earthly
creatures. Dasein = alles ist Welt. DNA,
nature, divine Nature, what is more essential
to our being?
Crystalline poems sink into moist ground
of a rare shower.
Hillsides planted for avocados, each
tree draining several
inches of water from drought dry soil,
suck up their anger.
above the trees’ green
leaves, a robot is driving itself
over a sere airless planet, scooping up and sending back
data on Mars’ failure to evolve into what we have become.
then is the truth of art? Is it a myth of the artist’s
life that cannot be unwound from the work that’s been
created? But what if the myth outweighs the quality of
the work? Or the artist’s life is lackluster, compared
the quality of the work?
path, I walk toward a shadow pressed
against a thicket of bushes: brown in its forgiveness,
green in its struggle to survive.
Many years ago, at a birthday party in San Francisco the poet
Gilbert was passing around snapshots from a recent trip to
In one was a dense stand of spruce trees. “That’s
the Black Forest.”
What was the philosopher pondering, as he rambled ancient
of the Hochschwarzwald? From its slopes, one could hear the
of the Baptist Kirche, while glaciers melting below were whispering.
up a mountain pass, there’s no distance between
sweating body and fulminating mind. Knees and words bend
together, lungs puff out visions, and the “hard problem” of
consciousness disappears. Only twisted cairns of horseshit
guide us through a long day’s afternoon.
“The deeper I go / the deeper I go / green mountains.” –Taneda
to exist in the nameless,”(9) we
the limits of a consciousness, the breadth of which, only
uncelebrated know how to pursue.
centuries after Ch’an Master Mu-Chou’s
investors ground-truth technology’s latest fantasy-generating
machines. Henceforth, declarations of love scribbled in chalk
on a rock’s mottled face will never appear again.
begins with fingers in-love with what doesn’t
A golem thing; an image promoting an object in a space not
displaced. Clay, wood, or globs of plaster slapped onto a frame,
art that loops in and out of time, reprising the sublime.
than 300 million years
after leaving the sea to waddle
on what was already ancient
land, I was working in an oil
riding high on the ocean's gray matter.
On shore dogs
pulled against Beckettian leashes. Two
played catch. A pelican skimmed sun-drenched water.
pecked at sand,
others circled like holy ghosts. A man
rising on a wave's crest...then rolling under.
To be born is to be vulnerable. What had been an intuitive
to survive inches forward like trees walking toward a North that
exists. A world can't strive with monsters pulling
The path is steep. Its rocks have a mind of their own,
sitting at every
possible angle: chipped and sharp, flat or bulbous,
a geography of a
throw of the dice. With both sides lined with Poison
Oak, all summer
I stayed away. No one knows exactly what this means.
From grass and stick huts round or squared, to ziggurats,
to modern skyscrapers, there remains awe and jealousy
of the earth’s ability to lift, reshape,
pour boiling lava down volcanic
slopes, or shaking and opening the earth---and the
freezing, overheating, upending humanity’s
Perhaps someday we’ll return to live in caves. “That
takes us all the
way back to the dawn of humanity,”(10) this
time on Mars, even before
repairing our terrestrial-riven faults.
On a chilly autumn morning, two sweaters are paired
When the mountain’s brow was reached,
I continued on then
stopped and turned around.
Death and enlightenment had reached the same
Walking down stepping on or around rocks shaky,
placed, I may have slipped, but I did not fall.
Celan leaped into the Seine, I'll write poems
still hover, there, in the air.”(11) Demonic
vowed to trip
you a few drops
of my blood.
Goodbye Old Stony Face, three bows to your gray wisdom.
Goodbye to plants who died then blossomed green again.
Goodbye to those gods who said they would return.
Goodbye. I won’t return.