Friday, October 22, 2010

151. The Ramifications of It

Interest in the opening
of a day of words or how it closes
down at night for the rest of the mind.
For the rest of the night, in the evening
out of the trials that contain us
and that we cannot contain, as an island
surrounded by water and unable to extend
beyond that purpose of being the island
it is. The island, it seems is a particular
instance of the continent it is one
of a scattered fragment of, pebble
on the blue field of the map of a
continuing sea. A continuing seeing,
meaning that the eye doesn’t stop
seeing even behind an eyelid, even
in the thrall of sleep. The thrall of
sleeping through the tender terrors
of a life of waiting for the sleeping
to come and overtake a consciousness
in the manner that the wave
overtakes the lip of the beach if only
by a running film of surf and momentarily.
Of surf and momentarily, and in the way
that movement is the only form of change,
how a breeze coats the coastline with
a bristling of branches and leaves.
Of branches, and leaves a piece of the song
on the back of his tongue and not yet
sung out or let go, so that all the words
preceding it would branch out, bifurcate,
ramify, proceed from a single point
and expand into a wave of speech or
thought of as an expression of that
that one couldn’t keep inside. One
couldn’t keep inside the tendency of
the body to fail at the test of living
against the clock, in a way resembling
the way the body cannot speed up
beyond its need to absorb rest
and expend energy because there is
never a body at rest that lives. A body
at rest, that is the desire that eliminates
the act of expansion out into the world
awave with light and water and spinning
as if a child on a beach crusted with
salt water dried on her skin, arms out,
a top of a child, ponytail as her third arm,
and rotating at such speed that she
doesn’t notice that the sand beneath her
feet remains in place and waiting. In place
and waiting for the start of the closing of
the day, we might be excused for our need
to see the world as we have always seen it,
to accept expectation as an article of faith
and to ignore a warm fall day in Chicago
near the end of October and look northward
to another kind of sea for the welcome
onslaught of winter, snow, and whiteness,
for not all beaches are made of sand
or made for castles, and whatever cloud
and colony of humans that float above us,
nudged by wind and the torquing Earth,
might suggest through their slow
transformations of shape, we are still
and remain the only solid humans of
the hard bare earth, held in place by
the gravity of our lives, simple in their
seriousness, and we thus see our way
to see the sea before us as ocean even
when it is a lake that has no opposite
shore, that accepts not the limits of
vision, that runs up and over our feet
in an unrolling wave as if to say


  1. I just read this today. Now. ahora.

  2. It was written on my mother's birthday.

  3. Geof - I think I am going to retire from publishing poetry at the end of this year. I don't think I will ever find anyone that can say anything better than the way you said this about something that you did not personally experience but yet you understood it better than any Cuban I know.

    Dulce Maria