It was raining. I could hear the rain taking the pins out of her mouth. Soft rain became hard rain so that hard things became soft things. The wet leaves under the trees became heavy as diapers, the book left open on the grass could finally sink in her bath without a word, the way, after a hard day, I rest my head on the edge of the claw-foot tub and my mouth falls open, empty at last. Actually I saw that in a painting when I ducked into a gallery because it was raining. It is always raining somewhere, somewhere the wells are filling from above and from below. Somewhere someone is sleeping, somewhere the lady of the house puts the alarm clock in a drawer where she cannot hear it then tells the children to be quiet and stands there listening to its tick.
‘This is the Song of One Hundred Thousand’ by Ariana Reines
This is the song of one hundred Thousand chemicals approximating Sunshine in my hair. My lover bit My cheek this morning. I think I’ll Fall from one trance into the next Might fall asleep any minute It gets tiring making yourself look like you’re alive while you’re looking Hard practicing turning Away from the shit we’re in
Source: Reines, Ariana. A Sand Book. , 2019. Print, p. 157. Photo: Gerace, Joe. “The Song of One Hundred Thousand Chemicals Approximating Sunshine [Secaucus Junction].” Nov. 14, 2020. JPG.
Photo: Church Street, New Paltz; Nov. 6, 2020; Joe Gerace
“Ono no Oyu (?-737) was a Japanese bureaucrat and a poet. He served under Ōtomo no Tabito during the Dazaifu administration. He rose to the rank of Assistant Governor-General (daini). Three of his tanka poems have been preserved in the Man’yōshū.” Wikipedia
Why am I making myself do and be things that I don’t really want to? Because I have an idea of what I should be doing and/or I don’t have an idea of what I really want to be and/or do. And/or both. I seem to be very and/or, with an urge to flex everything until it loses what I secretly feel to be its false polarity. E.g., there is a such thing as good and such a thing as evil, it’s just that they aren’t opposites. Am I a good person? Yes, after a certain point, and no, after another. Deep down I’m just down there, a kind of gurgling black Jell-O that doesn’t have any idea of what’s going on up here. Up here I have on a baseball cap and have a vague desire to fix the closet door.
Neither the intimacy of your look, your brow fair as a feast day, nor the favor of your body, still mysterious, reserved, and childlike, nor what comes to me of your life, settling in words or silence, will be so mysterious a gift as the sight of your sleep, enfolded in the vigil of my arms. Virgin again, miraculously, by the absolving power of sleep, quiet and luminous like some happy thing recovered by memory, you will give me that shore of your life that you yourself do not own. Cast up into silence I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being and see you for the first time, perhaps, as God must see you— the fiction of Time destroyed, free from love, from me.
In the evening of a brightly unsunny day to watch back-lighted buildings through the slits between vertical strips of blinds and how red brick, brick painted red, a flaky white, gray or those of no color at all take the light though it seems only above and behind them so what shows below has a slight evening “the day—sobs—dies” sadness and the sun marches on. It isn’t like that on these buildings, the colors which seem to melt, to bloom and go and return do so in all reality. Go out and on a cross street briefly a last sidelong shine catches the faces of brick and enshadows the grout: which the eye sees only as a wash of another diluted color over the color it thinks it knows is there. Most things, like the sky, are always changing, always the same. Clouds rift and a beam falls into a cell where a future saint sits scratching. Or a wintry sun shows as a shallow pan of red above the Potomac, below Mount Vernon, and the doctor from Philadelphia nods and speaks of further bleeding.
Source: Schuyler, James. “Greenwich Avenue.” Collected Poems. New York: Noonday Press, 1998, pp. 169-170.
Sources: Czaykowski, Bogdan. “The Collective.” Volvox: Poetry from the Unofficial Languages of Canada in English Translation, edited by J. Michael Yates, Victoria, British Columbia, Can: Sono Nis Press, 1971, p. 61.
Coulthart, John. “Howl from Beyond.” 1997. Trading card. Wizards of the Coast, Renton, Wash.
Goodbye forever to this brief age of freedom. Farewell unforgettable days and glorious nights and leaves swept away by the wind. We were young, we hoped for nothing and we waited for tomorrow with the blind obstinacy of the castaway who throws stones in the water.