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Sunday, August 2, 2015

More Poems More Poems More Poems

it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt
Elizabeth Alexander

People give things many different names. But in themselves, they have no names. When you are thinking, all things have different names and different shapes. But when you are not thinking, all things are the same. There are no words for them. People make the words. A cat doesn't say, ‘I am a cat.’ People say, ‘This is a cat.’
Zen Master

I should stop there. I should let the tensions between those two statements do their common work. I should let the apparent differences fade in their untruth, and let them, in them, mingle like male and female into the child of your thoughts. But I don’t trust you. I don’t trust you to see it. And I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust myself to see tomorrow what I see so plainly today. I don’t trust time; I don’t trust the mind to ripen and the reader—you—to see it when you ready. I don’t trust you to be ready. It’s so much better when I can point to the picture that changes form when you stare and merely invite you to look, to see if it if you can, not to see it, not yet, it if you can’t. That patience is better. That trust is better. It’s better if you don’t explain the koan or let the listener know it was a koan that passed like smoke from pipe you won’t recall you ever smelled for years and years until you smell it again returning you to this moment, proustian.

But we don’t live in a monastery. We live in time.

And you might miss it. You will miss it, most of you. And what if you never do small it again? It’s better to have the koan explained than to miss it altogether. We teach minds and fertilize plants because we don’t have the time not to and time would not be enough. And those who did not have to be taught have already stopped reading.

The only way past language is through it. The only way to silence is talk. The only way to dissolve the name is to give it. More poems, more poems, more poems. The old texts, endlessly glossed. The “it” we don’t have because it is not haveable. The airborne soap bubble you lose by reaching for. The same thing said over and over in new words is something else.

1 comment:

  1. That is an extremely illusive aspect to learning and processing. Extraordinary that you have captured it! And to start off through the tension that others have created, to freeze it and view the tension itself. It has the same vibrancy as one of those laser burglary alarms that movies liked to place in art galleries and museums. When you sprinkle powder over it, you can see them. It's a glimmer that let's you know it's real. It's alive. And then it fades from sight. There are these same lines amongst the tension here, and these words sprinkle the powder over them so that we can witness their vibrating power.

    And then, they too recede from our eyes.