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Thinking of You

for Arun

The wind woke me, my arm caught
like an eel in a net
in a tangle of Suman's graying black hair.
Looking around in the dark and listening
to the gale, I discovered
a pure language, all noise and no words.
Out of bed by then, I slipped
into my robe, then went out the back door
to the woodpile.
Above wind-thrashed trees, the moon flamed
yellow-white, daring
the solar system to question its significance.
The night was cold and I could barely
keep my balance in the wind.
I went back inside.  
Battered by gales, the trees
continued creaking for hours outside the window
like ideas, stiff with age, trying
to reachieve their old flexibility.  
I kept thinking of the moon, with its  
dead rocks and dust, an accident
of secondhand light.  
Transparent clouds
of logic moved across its surface
as it burned without meaning in my mind
and the wind kept roaring, bending
the trees almost to the ground.
Unable to sleep, I wrote this.      
If nobody cares, there's nothing
I can do. I love how
in spite of the wind raging everywhere
the intractable moon
won't budge.


Memorial Day

Today I should
say something, conjure
ghosts.  The ghost
of language first.  This syllable
a mirror, this one smoke, a third
a hand movement too quick to see, a fourth
a shell -- but where's the pea?
Oh, that's right, there is
no pea, or, for that matter, any shell!
The conjuring's what's real, nothing else.  Or so
the speech-givers say.  
Me, I'm no public speaker.  I'm more
a specialist
in telepathic junk mail, sending
this message to multiple addressees today
as I wander, lost
in a maze of Monday barbeques
in a neighborhood synonymous
with peace.  No matter
what I do, though,
the artillery's thunder
drives me crazy.  Soldiers
& their dying words
sprawl on the ground all around, then medics
carry them on stretchers to
a makeshift ICU where nurses, fussing
over them, inject them with serums
that help their fevered meanings
slowly grow stone cold.  
Dead now, so many things lie piled
alongside each other in war's' graves & gulleys.  
There are no ghosts
anymore.  If there were
the nation's citizens
would never sleep, which they do.
Nonetheless, for those who still seek a specter, there's
one last chance.  At
the local parade, gaze  
at the marching bands, the vets in uniform, the mayor
in his open car, the majorettes
whose legs stretch clear to China
& all the while take note
of the spectacle's unearthly
forward flow --
it is itself the lone specter left,
the ghost of what we once believed passing by.
Lower your eyes.  Or don't.  It's up to you.


Ellora and Ajanta


Kali. Z. Fasteau / Soprano Sax / "A Gft"



Fade to White by Ee'da