Friday, April 20, 2007

The Flower of Having Passed Through (a painted) Paradise in Dream

Bialy had finished his poem at last
the final lines of which
he’d been discussing with me
for years—now
published at last
by famed Italiano house—
the finest and most dedicated
to pure design
in the world—
the pristine gesture of those final line sets
showing a perfect movement that turns and is
an essence of floral growth and habit
at once of poetry, painting, music,
and the time of speech—
amazing for it to have manifested here
in the dawn-light snow-storm
of rural late-night hospital…

Bialy, who was (beyond improbability) Prince Charming
in fluent scarlet robe and crown
of golden hair—bends
slightly there to kiss his perfect
Afro-Semetic bride—
the wedding itself
to celebrate in a kiss
the completion and perfection of his poem
whose final lines read
in palindrome
as ultimate flower, utterance,
and gesture
that I can reproduce with both hands now—
the whiteness of the snow-light
and the off-white tincture of the hospital walls
and the painting by little Arden Fuller
with little houses,
doors, and windows
and the beautiful head of happy child
balanced on bodiless blue legs
among the tulips…

I was brought into the bookstore, into
an intimate “order” of these meanings
where so many excellent
editions of poems
by Pound and Zukofsky
and Italian “illuminist” poets
who had brought
to “light” the noble
colors of the time
into which they’d vanished—
scarlet, tinged with crimson, turquoise, gold
and the towns by moon or sunlight
and their mountains, lakes, and rivers all composed
by the movement of this gesture
of pen or tongue or fingers.
As one walked passed,
the images changed, so that
from whatever angle one discerned them
from that angle their beauty
most exceedingly gleamed.

Darkness and the Terrible
were themselves retained
as were dark forbodings
that movement would spoil all this beauty—

making a curve with the car
in a parking lot
or conducting with one’s hands
the sounds of the worlds
or walking even with grace
that retained but just retained
the habit of elegance
echoing a resonant hollowness
at the center of things…

The radio, as if ensconced in some
distant wall of the hospital
delivered it seemed
the most hospitable
and promising of all the sounds
in the world—

the therpeutic muscle pumping gadgets
attached to my legs
also echoing that gesture
without end.

Note: I will have just enough time to write this down before the nurses come with pills and measurement devices—and I do complete this just as a pretty Phillipino nurse named Anna walks in the room and I make my gesture caressing her face with my hands.


next day early morning

Writing. Sanskrit. Incised
in stone wall or tower or mountain
so that one can grip the wall
by gripping the words with fingers and toes
to climb it up or down—
like skills rock-climbers master—
and as I learn the abilities,
there is no fear of falling—none at all—
I cannot even reproduce the sense
of what ought to be danger for myself,
so tightly linked to the wall have I become,
and I am climbing down and down and down
cleaving inwardly to
its teachings

Later Susan Quasha among other
practitioners in the colors of an inner order
that continues the colors and textures
of the robes of Kagyus and Nyingmas but also
close to the colors of last night’s dream—

The textures of the cloths—not only the robes—
but also rugs and wall hangings and things
that cover the altars
are efficiently transmitters because of
this wedding of exact color and texture—
and there is some danger
that the texture might deviate ever-so-slightly
and thus lose the efficacy of the cloth
to open on the true meaning of the teachings,
though it turns out these deviations cause no problems—
the meanings
continue to transmit.

The texture is related
to the walls incised with writing
as if the texture of writing itself
were part of its communicative power—

My coming down the wall
did not read it word by word
though I did link on to the wall word-wise,
but rather one simple meaning was imparted
because the descent would go on forever,
though there was no actual change in place height-wise…

Before the Susan color-cloth segment
I was “off the wall”
and large chunks of “reality”—
as if large chunks of the existent world
had been sharply bitten out of the world
and the harmlessness of the acts
by which these absences were seemingly demarcated
were identical to the security
that adherence to the incised letters on the wall
afforded myself and anyone else
who was a climber (or descender)
of it.

Pieces bitten out of the substance of the world—
their absence—
were substance, path, and fruit…

When Susan appeared she was skin-headed
and she introduced the “next instruction”
or imparted the next chunk of information
by a direct act of pointing with
the pinky side of her right hand
and it was only by this gesture
that was different from the one in last night’s dream
because of its straightness
and that it cut through a vertical plane
shooting straight out from the center of one’s body
that I knew she was Susan
and that we shared a certain sense of trust
in the simple meaning
of these matters…

(These dreams occurred at Columbia Memorial Hospital while I was recuperating from hip replacement surgery.)

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