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.
in black clouds rain’s racing toward landfall.
Venus and moon
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.
on the mountain, from around a switchback drifts a
Posthuman while scaling race, gender, religion, nationality or scala naturae
continues.” Perhaps someday the Gods will reappear to show us that
Virtual Reality is a simulation, “Women with drums (actually) fly
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
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.
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
feel where its path leads even before it begins.
thoughts gimbal between local and soporific time. We
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
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.”
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,
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
drawn with a
black marker points to the only path down.
climate change veered Christianity from a tree
felled and crossed
into the symbol of its crucified God, to symbolize
instead a living tree,
human and natural history (would be) breached.”(5)
motivated our ancestors to leave their African home
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
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
armpits, Old Man Pan, “made of rages and earth,”(6) picked
from Gaia’s green hair, and galloped
toward lives never to be born.(7)
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.
knowing he is other
than human, a rabbit shivers as my shadow
Perhaps an artificial brain would be brighter than one
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.
trail cold, the Big Bang is more theory than a falsifiable
Digging into horizons before the dawn of Homo sapiens, old myths
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.”(8)
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.
they all hop off the fence and fly to a field where flowers have
with a beautiful yellow eyes.
If we look closely we may also see the tracks
of Chumash shamans
to where suns and star-wheels are glowing on the walls of
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.”(9)
nearly two decades before a man
the moon and
bounded across its bleak surface.
can be read in contrast to: "An astronaut told a
of Navajo children, ‘If you study science, someday
you too can go
to the moon.’ One student spoke up: ‘My grandfather's
several times.’ The class nodded wisely."(10)
the Postmodern the high arts have been draining erudition
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…”(11)
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
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
ascents and descents…until the Familiar appears.
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’ were
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).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kh%C3%B4ra
3. J. Daive, Under the Dome: Walks with Paul Celan. San Francisco,
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,
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.