for Bob Pinto
The day my professor died
I found this stone.
It stood out from the others.
The stone that others reject
Becomes my cornerstone,
The first matter of all things.
It’s a good stone, full of questions,
A complete mystery,
And sometimes its own answer.
Last night I dreamt I was talking to Wittgenstein. It was a frightening dream, hyperreal; and later I thought, not only relevant but important to share. I was wearing a blood soaked apron, as apparently we were both doctors in a First World War field hospital somewhere near the front. I marveled at his remarkable sangfroid under fire. I was about to make the first incision into my patient when I saw that it was a young boar and then a fatted calf. “Truth is truth enough for a grain of sand to keep the earth from falling,” he said, while amputating the right arm of his own brother.
Between being awake and awake
I found a lost feather by a remote lake.
Between restlessness and rest
Neither visitor nor guest.
Between dreaming and dreams
Between too late and too soon
Drifting bodies in a blue lagoon.
I stared into a blank bay
In a sea trance between day and day.
The sun shone without substance
Like the image of thought.
Flower of kisses
Luminous arc between lovers
Flower of God
Withering when I grasp it
Flower of blood
Flower of peace
Elsewhere a weed
Flower of starlight
Flower of time
My cousins cautioned me about the red wine,
Counseled me on being too at ease
On ancestral land. Said lush vineyards grow
On Etna’s slopes, enriched by lava flows
And strange vapors steaming into the grapes
Produce a wine from the childhood of the world.
Whatever philosophy we were spewing
That I, drinking this, heard chaos talk,
Saw the sea burning in the crater of the sun,
Saw the mountain falling, space mounting;
Felt the wine venting, the winds of forgetting
Flying in the wine-dark sea of my mind–
I staggered on the cliff-side terrace—
Archimedes Theocritus Empedocles I slurred
The vertigo of history letting go,
Smelling sulfur, even there among clouds.
This is a poem that fills
The emptiness of a bowl.
This is also a poem
That empties the fullness of the bowl.
This is a poem.