In Ancient Greece, oros is “a height outside inhabited and cultivated space—outside the polis, the astu (town),
and the komei (villages).” R. Buxton, Imaginary Greece. Cambridge, UK., p.82.



Cloaked in black clouds rain’s racing toward landfall. Venus and moon hang
close together. As the sun rises from its dark abyss, vaulting the mountain’s
summit and sliding down to a path punctuated with clumps of fresh dung—
cows grazing nearby pretend to be innocent of what they have left behind.


High on the mountain, from around a switchback drifts a voice: “There’s no
Posthuman while scaling race, gender, religion, nationality or scala naturae
continues.” Perhaps someday the Gods will reappear to show us that while
Virtual Reality is a simulation, “Women with drums (actually) fly over Tibet.”


Tibetan Buddhists circumambulate Mt. Kailas clockwise; devotees of the older
Bon religion walk it counterclockwise,
(2) as do Muslins circling Mecca’s Kaaba.
“Basically there are those who turn in circles, and those who think they don’t.”
Like the medicine man breaking the rain’s ribs, there is no greater faith than
questioning your own beliefs.


Drought cracks the earth into glyphs so ancient only rain can recall their meaning.
Walking I feel lighter, climbing I can almost fly
until values that collapse universals
delight in dust that never becomes more than itself.


In virtual reality one experiences two realities, bodied and unbodied, at the same
time. Where is the perceiver placed in Virtual Reality? A poem of the wind would
feel where its path leads even before it begins.


My thoughts gimbal between local and soporific time. We know when someone’s
dreaming by the brain’s REMs; but the woken brain’s recollection of the dream is
a misleading description protecting what can’t be said by rending a gap between
the dream and its interpretation made in dayworld language. “Dammit! This is just
another of those goddamn algorithms, not the real thing.”


Sometimes, and more not than usually noticed, there is synchronicity between
what we dream and what confronts us when awake.“ You’ve lived here for ten
years? It’s a square of fabric woven of colored threads and full of snakes.”

The next morning, I saw the first snake since arriving here a decade ago, a black
coral with white rings crossing a trail densely verged with tall weeds, into which
it slithered and disappeared.


Nailed to wooden posts, or shallow stakes, thin green plastic signs cropped up
on the trail’s verge: Caution, Steep Drop. “Perhaps it is better to listen to the
mythologist who reimagines than to the mythologist who knows.”
(4) An arrow
drawn with a black marker points to the only path down.


If climate change veered Christianity from a tree felled and crossed
into the symbol of its crucified God, to symbolize instead a living tree,
“the wall between human and natural history (would be) breached.”


Whatever motivated our ancestors to leave their African home and walk
toward terra incognita, they wouldn’t have thought they would drop off
the planet. Many centuries later, Egyptian metaphysicians saw a flat
Earth, as did Biblical scribes; until Aristotle’s sharp eyes saw a ship
sink slowly, not suddenly, below the horizon. Yet always a question


From the edge of the abyss, a thin veil of mist spreads over the valley.
Widow’s weeds sway in the slippage between the living and the living
dead… remembering when, heart pounding, sweat pouring from hairy
armpits, Old Man Pan, “made of rages and earth,”
(6) picked a bouquet
from Gaia’s green hair, and galloped toward lives never to be born.


What demonic code will give birth to intelligent machines with which we
can better slaughter each other? What will our ethics be when educated
beasts are stalking deaths that are not contrived?


Treading air above my head a hummingbird bestows a laurel more telling
than Pulitzer, Nobel, or “genius” awards. I descend to the earth withering
from heat: Arctic, Amazon, Great Salt Lake, to the roots beneath my teeth.


Not knowing he is other than human, a rabbit shivers as my shadow falls
over him. Perhaps an artificial brain would be brighter than one bearing
such a burden of survival. But on whom will its shadow fall?


Every time a new date is claimed for when the First People arrived on
the continent called America, a few years later the date is moved back.
Myths and theories only tell us we have evolved into beings who can
imagine a beginning.

Its trail cold, the Big Bang is more theory than a falsifiable science.
Digging into horizons before the dawn of Homo sapiens, old myths
remain imbedded in science’s most subtle calculations.


On one steep climb I was thought of philosophers who exhaustingly fall
back on Plato, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger… sucking out the marrow of their
calcifying tropes, in “the long quarrel between tradition and invention.”


As the fog lifts, four crows are sitting on a fence squawking to each other.
Suddenly they all face north and listen to the cracking of melting ice.
Then they all hop off the fence and fly to a field where flowers have
blossomed with a beautiful yellow eyes.
If we look closely we may also see the tracks of Chumash shamans
leading to where suns and star-wheels are glowing on the walls of
shallow caves.


“’I know that I have never been to the moon.’ That sounds quite different
in the circumstances which actually hold to if a good many men had been
on the moon, and some perhaps without knowing it.”
The philosopher wrote this nearly two decades before a man landed on
the moon and bounded across its bleak surface.

Wittgenstein can be read in contrast to: "An astronaut told a class
of Navajo children, ‘If you study science, someday you too can go
to the moon.’ One student spoke up: ‘My grandfather's been there
several times.’ The class nodded wisely."


Since the Postmodern the high arts have been draining erudition of its
traditional means, lateralizing creativity through the bony web of itself
like a painting that “Followed where it had to, depositing, overlapping,
submerging images already there…”


Dreaming seen as a loss of memory may be a strange thought.
But that there is thinking is a miracle of being. It is simple as a
planet born from solar dust, a tree that whispers, or a rock that
moves of its own volition. That this could happen!


After the storm a few clouds drift over the mountain’s wet face.
A dead branch reaches out and threads the loop of a shoelace,
trapping a careless foot. Here the path makes a sharp turn.

There is a way half-hidden by foliage that leads to endless
ascents and descents…until the Familiar appears. To take
this path is to make your life mysterious again.



1. G. Snyder. From, “The Way West, Underground.”
2. Khora is the circling of a holy mountain; in particular, Kailas in Tibet. “In Plato's account, khôra is described as a formless interval, alike to a non-being, in between which the ‘Forms’ wer
e received from the intelligible realm (where they were originally held) and were ‘copied’, shaping into the transitory forms of the sensible realm; it ‘gives space’ and has maternal overtones (a womb, matrix).”
3. J. Daive, Under the Dome: Walks with Paul Celan. San Francisco, 2009. p.122.
4. G. Bachelard, “The Forge: Expansion to the Cosmic Level.” In, Poetic Imagination and Reverie. New York, 1971. p.90
5. D. Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Critical Inquiry 35, no.2 (2009).
6. B. Kangro. From, “Old Age.”
7. “How (Pan) was there is of course where all the trouble lies.” C. Boer, “Watch Your Step.” Spring Journal: A Journal of Archetype and Culture. 1996. p.113.
8. G. Apollinaire. From, “The Pretty Redhead.” R. Padgett, trans.
9. L. Wittgenstein, On Certainty. D. Paul and G.E.M. Anscombe, trans. New York, 1969. p.17.
11. J. Berger, “Past Present.” The Guardian, Oct 12, 2002. (Tense changed.)