Friday, July 03, 2009

On Being Buried 18 Sept 1978

The earth doesn't kiss like a shy new conquest,
But suffocates you with the hug of a mighty aunt.
This is the great unreckoned thing:
the overall pressing of the soil.
Each breath, if not a struggle, is a puzzle:
one wonders why one breathes at all.
The wet sand tells you that your body ends,
But it seems to extend more widely beneath the soil.

The ground molds itself to you:
a hole forms into which you fit perfectly,
which soon becomes loose, collapses, and fits again.
Often beneath the surface you grasp handfuls of earth.
The earth holds you holding the earth.
It enters your ears and your eyes,
Your fingernails, your mouth.

There is a kind of pain in your prone stagnation.

On Farmas Flot: Dorian mode folksong in an invented Scandinavian language

On farmas flot min lufa stehet
Magre bene o tyn carn insammet
Teth så gertist o mymtisk desut
Ved basseten en thermet vealant noe tilkren
Not verbi veynmer utmot textra ventral
vestrans werolm peoplen temtor fentrost
et emmtrenge trowbt theng ecte e
dust imgovervigs td ventrent verts thotu
hemeds kurtt tyr trygget venathengte
mattensk matter

Parable poem (1977?)

On the great side
There are some who, like the cat
who triumphantly scaled a tree
have not the courage to descend.

Fragment: 1979?

He writes with the glee of a man who, having hidden himself in a convenient place, watches a boy write his name with a stick in wet cement, and he, a few minutes later, repeats the action, carefully looking about for fear of the authorities. For the act is an obsession, even if it is as harmless and transitory as a daydream, and his life is a succession of many such acts, driven by impulses and stimuli which which tease and pull, explode and whisper, beckon, hide, and vanish. In the dim semi-consciousness of his half-sleep, the walls of his room are like Jello, and then glass, and then air, weather affects him inside as it does the grass and trees; falling fruit invariably makes him fatter during the harvest; brittle grass makes him rue his awakening and prods his short temper; the thumb-deep mud and cumulous sky mollifies him and gives him hope; if the sand blows about his feet, supporting him in a peculiar way, he walks seaward onto packed ground and stretches in the sun. His towel served as his chair., his bed, his table, his clothing,his comfort, his protection, his shelter, and it was unsatisfactory in all these ways.

Amongst my papers: Summer 1979

Carolyn,Shirley, Suzanne, Phyllis, Dolores, Francis, and Harriet Smith.
Dorothy, Theresa, Michelle, Annette, Beverly, Rebecca, and Marlene Jones.

These were the names that I had to remember this summer as a memory experiment. They had to be in that order and in that way.

[experiment was at either Horace Mann or the Rockefeller Institute. each woman was the mother ot the next in the list, and there were questions like is Annette the grandmother of Marlene? Is Dolores a Smith or a Jones? etc. I "cheated" not by writing, which was of course forbidden, but by making mnemonic sentences for them (since forgotten). ]