Monday, February 8, 2016

The periodic table, the elementals

On some level I must have remembered, acknowledged to some inner version of self that I had. Some dark tickle in the chest and throat, a feather along the back of the neck, near the ears or across the eyes slowly blinking, reminding as does the cousin of sleep, death. 

It was last Super Bowl Sunday that my father passed away. It was not a great time for me, and much has not improved much in the year that has followed. I've never been the most emotionally stable person. I do myself few favors, but I am growing tired of losing in that regard. My behavior yesterday was more motivated by emotion than is my usual custom, which many already consider extreme, by their standards of living. No one would question me if I were dying, yet so few notice this.

Death has its way of pushing postcards into time, placing pieces of two-sided blackness into the cardboard of life's passing. Quietus is nearly useless, except that it makes time easier to gauge. It asserts itself as an undeniable moment from which surrounding events can be better understood, never escaped. Memories are so easily placed on the shelves of the mind, arriving with sudden dust, never departing. 

It seems unfair, because it is unfair. 

It can, Death.

Dealt with in any number of ways, it is sanctioned as fact by fear and awe of the known, the felt, the past. Death offers few choices, few alternatives, maybe the occasional if only, or then again: right now

For a person who relies on various forms of denial to function, death serves as a great reminder, the greatest terrible.  The endless-ism.

At night the passing calendar of stars above whispers this open secret down to each of us, huddled together as a herd of the as yet unnoticed. 

Every morning arrives like the nearly unthanked miracle that it is, though I do sometimes try. 

I try up towards the stars. 

I look and wonder about the now, the then.


1 comment:

  1. Maybe I've left this ... it is by the same Poet that wrote the Eden Poem. Mostly just left because of the title of your post and cause I like to think I'm part of a guerrilla poetry movement that drops poems around the world.

    The Periodic Table

    Down the rough and stony moor I led my horse, and, stumbling on at length Came to a bottom, where in former times A murderer had been hung in iron chains. - The Prelude Book Twelfth

    I see you trace the mirror's
    Elemental abstract fractions;
    Trace them to some logical end-
    A silver bowl collecting monsoon rain
    A cracked plastic mortar
    Where congealed like wet feathers
    Eden’s life begins.

    This push of diesel,
    Yesterday’s party proclamations,
    Hail Caesar and hallucinations of murder

    She breathes her first cold breaths.
    I see the rhythm of a glass jawed prize fighter’s resurrection-
    Down, on the mat- Five count-
    But looking feisty ‘bout the eyes,
    Arms cocked and prepped to rise,
    Face sprayed with sweat and snot,
    But begging for another shot.

    The voices only come at night, sister,
    She looks for a faucet,
    Looks for a drain.
    This is the code of law;
    Asymmetrical is its sex appeal.
    I see it, sun whitened,
    Stetch its heathen bones
    Protruding through skin.
    They cleave like clove to coconut
    Blown on tradewind.

    Down the Bosporus near sunrise-
    In the mist, and the midst of a fit of rheumatism,
    That daily shiverer’s boots scraped across the mat of an oar shed, with a corrugated tin roof,
    Beneath the domes of the mosques,
    And the swarm of the mosquitos at Sestos;

    I see the hermit hunched,
    His song rings chants to the sea.
    Perfect spheres of fire
    Unchanged, Unmutable
    Hallowed be thy perimeter
    Of garlands' severed grief
    Through which nothing does pass
    And all is contained
    But a blank wall
    And the raised veins of crackling paint
    That spindle the textured emptiness.
    The uniform sediment of a lucid archetype:
    The death of winter.

    I see her hand fall, and a wrist shattered.
    She lies slung, flung, and sprawled
    Across the gray graveyard wall.
    She remembers his lightbearer lineage
    Woven in code and chromosomes
    On the mottled fields sewn in war-
    Barren, blackening, salted, ploughed.

    The dust in the shaft
    The smoke in the shaft
    Tumble on the same waves.
    Tumble, and explode into a place where no one but a handful of otherwise indisposed gods could find them.

    Miss, I say.

    Miss. Cobras Made of Roses Twisted and Twined.
    I say.

    Thorny and dragged full
    Scraped and raked
    Face to resting place.

    I see beneath your clothes,
    Tangled and unconscious,
    Those fangs who went a-feeding on elixirs of hemlock and colloidal gold.
    May I?
    A word?

    I can see, you know that though.
    That is why you found me.
    See those claustrophobic afternoons;
    Short hallways of dirty porcelain.
    Rage and ennui reconciled.
    Like I was there, Mademoiselle.
    The shape of the iron bars on your window,
    Curved to hold flowers they never held.

    I see the last two lights that remain.
    And in the moment before they are extinguished
    They will flicker.
    Then only dark.
    I can see all these things in you,
    You know that though.
    That is why you found me.