I’ve Heard the Echoes

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I’ve heard the echoes,
chased the shadows,
danced with the reveries
of phantom caresses.

Retreat with me
to a safe space
‘neath the snow-laden burrows
behind the curtain of remembrances

where we will carve out
the annals
of innocence and mirth,
and ascend the smoky hills by night’s end.

Art: “The Road in front of Saint-Siméon Farm in Winter”
Claude Monet

 

The reality…

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“The reality, Sebastian,” Dr. Ganguly started as he grabbed his coat and headed for the door, “Is that what you tend to consider learned speculation really just amounts to empty falderal in the minds of your detractors and supporters alike.” He gazed at Sebastian intently, squinted his eyes, perched his thick black frames further up the bridge of his long, bony nose before removing them abruptly. “You’ll have to take a different approach.”

Art: “Two Men at the Table”
Erich Heckel

Silent Inhibitions to Rest

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I am stillness,

Beholding the innocuous gesture of a
Recurrent and timely presence.
It encompasses me whole,
Embracing me with a dire earnestness and constancy of grasp,
A veritable representation
Of an old man’s impetuous but fleeting importunancy for an unattainable
Survival and redemption.
But is it I alone whom Nature herself has perchance decreed
To succumb so readily unto this damp, caliginous mass of apathy,
Habited in its old familiar accouterments,
Bespeaking the eternal languor and quietude its hand imports?
Nary a sound…a single utterance even.
Very well, but if it is indeed the case that I stand so decreed, then for what purpose, what cause?
Obligation screams from within, but I cannot be so moved.
It becomes but a feckless and stifled show of potential and ideal
I cannot attend.

I cannot return her embrace,

And must wonder whether in good faith this gesture really be.
I stand blindfolded, an adynamic blob of unrequited existence
With hushed breath.
In my last efflux my independence is proclaimed and I am surely bereft of him
For good,
Knowing him only in the evanescence of disconnected globules which
Fall
from the
Precipice in pure
Freedom.

I am constricted.

Brooding arms, warm and callous; a distinct heaviness in the breast
That obtrudes, enjoining me to palpate a blunt lump of discarded soul,
Which startles me. My subjugation awaits.
Perhaps it is on a quest of sorts, a movement of insatiable pursuit to
Breach the sanctum sactorum of all my life’s energies and
Protective tendencies.
All efforts at resistance fail, all new passions aborted.
All creative inspirations, self-preserving propensities, nascent and past,
Presently bound unto this sad, sprawling vale of shiftless moments and
Privation for its own sake.

I am oppressed.

A salient fury it has not, like the e’er so rapacious flame that
Traipses about in search of men who will feed his familiar hauteur with
Forced awe, vaunting of his imminent identification with a consummate and definitive
Destruction, masquerading convincing airs of nobility.
A comportment far more passive, but no less devious informs his every move and
Impresses upon me a stark naked indifference,
Uncompromising, unconditioned in effect.
Surely if I am to be consoled by this latent innocence
I could never hope to more clearly perceive,
Then why do I stand here helpless, with roving arms, fleshless hands,
Enveloped in merciless vulnerability?
It oft vexes me the degree to which this thing contents itself on being such a relentless
Self-perpetuation of mutually-sustaining contrasts,
A paradox of unified and complementary expressions of euphony and cacophony,
Of coarse black sand stuffed into hourglasses, but whose flow knew no beginning.
It happily abounds in the very dearth it encapsulates, a taste doubtless bitter to
Discriminating tongues.
But verily even in this bitterness a certain sweetness emerges,
Manifesting sections of its hitherto concealed face through
Spasmodic implosions of youthful vitality.

It abides. It moves.

It traverses worlds, minds.
With a peculiar yet seemingly characteristic élan it commences its solidification into a
Confounding and omnivorous quintessence of intricate paths
Which I am forced to follow without the ability or the wherewithal to render it
Meaning or purpose.
I question its intent. I question mine.
Why does ambivalence cry forth so steadily, blurred by a million droplets of shame?
Perchance it is I who embodies this ambivalence as such.

I am perplexed beyond all meaning, purpose, or intent.

Do I seek to be uplifted, nurtured, forever ravished by this fathomless mass of being
One and all at rest, signified only by this dense effluvium that lingers about,
Usurping that original purity and fluidity of breath I once so intimately knew?
Or is my heart but a positive catalyst for an unwarranted sorrow,
For tears freely tendered, tenuously grasped, and eternally lost?
One certainty remains: there is no escaping the ubiquity of freely roving
Monsters of solitude,
For their existence is neither dependent on the transient humanity it affects,
Nor upon the transient affections of humanity.

It saturates. It defines.

It stands as the ultimate limit of my inception,
And the very terminus of all my dear life’s possibilities borne therefrom.
It is my beginning and my end.
Inasmuch as I am blindly abhorrent of it I am helplessly enslaved by it.
There is no pride in my fall.
My will is fruitless, dispersed like hollowed-out blueberries thrown from the balcony
Over the crooked ledge of broken time,
Shattered like brittle hourglasses.

Her hand.

Long

separated

from

the

tethers

of

my

childhood

memories.

Damned unto perpetual submission I lay,here,
In the Sun’s repose, in this cold hiatus of wind and song,
Alone, treading these fields of limitless vacuity,
In search of answers, in pursuit of finality.
I reason vigorously, and continue to question in hopes of attaining but the slightest
Foothold of understanding,
Attempting to provide a final stability to these warring edifices of emotion and thought.
But in their grandeur all my answers are obscured.
The more I reach out to clasp the impalpable blessed hand of translucent processes
And infinitely revealed meanings,
The further away it retreats.
Its shielded bosom rejects my cries,
Pushing me back into the primordial depths of
Unreality, nothingness, indifferentiation with base elements.
All my fear, once cleverly played by flickering shadows on the wall,
Materialized and served in a handful of black dust.

Mother!

No longer can I rest my head on her faint promises of
Assurance and untroubled resolution,
As she smiles at me from that singular and glorious space
Forever beyond my reach,
Tattered red quilt still in hand.

Art: “The old light house at dusk”
Léon Spilliaert

Faithfully…

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Faithfully,
The impression of your hand in mine
Lingers in a pool of usurped moments
As I cast my shadow down the hill
Where I coveted your face
With searching lips
For the first and last time.
The centuries will hear my beseech
And expand as tunnels inundated with the
Dust of the beloved and the fallen.
The ferns will outgrow their bodies
And begin to sashay nimbly above the
Moon-glazed swards that birthed them.

Gratuitously,
The tortoise will remember to smile again,
And his legs will gain strength
As his journey decompresses
And his resting place arises in a gale of
Furious, breathy arias
Abiding their impending freedom.
Should the seas open up for your arrival
And your star begins to weep,
Do not wait for me,
For timeless I have become.
We have loved as the tiller’s dream
Loved the hillside,
As the edifice now loves its song.

Uncharacteristically,
You might find me buried deep in the trough
With mirrors on all sides.
Do not seek my likeness,
For I am all of them
And probably none of them.
Fear nothing as you close your eyes
And slowly restrain your breath.
Do not awaken until infinity has
Called you to behold two smiling trees in the fore.
Open your eyes,
Go lie among them,
Eyes facing the sea,
And breathe again,
Just a little at a time.

Art: “The Church at Varengeville, against the Sunset”
Claude Monet

That Morning…

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That morning,
Not a ripple remained among us
That did not encompass some thought
About yesterday.

We endeavor to keep them all,
And feast with them,
Inspecting them for clarity
Of hindsight and reflection.

They have kissed the breeze
Of their own accord,
And have delighted in their secrets,
Half-divulged,
In concert with vague movements.

They tell us nothing,
But show us what it means
To be the salvation
That awaits them
With a half-smile

One night
Years ago.

Art: Claude Monet
“Riverbank at Argenteuil”

Water

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Startled by the shrill cries of feathered sable-winged imps, I awaken.

I stumble with purpose to the bathroom, turn on the faucet, allowing the stark cold deluge of life to overtop my cupped hands. Perched over the sink like a sordid mendicant in the throes of his final prostration, I am momentarily transfixed by the effortless and inconstant swishing and swirling, movement upon movement, all manner of transparent, tenuous being turning back on itself.

Just as soon as it is there, it is not, and no sooner it is there again. In a singular thrust my face is fully immersed, arising to a glass bespattered with errant streams scurrying toward the white porcelain base like fugitive tears from a dozen eyes, giving it a cracked and mottled appearance. I am confronted by a mere semblance of a man, slipping in and out of definition, his visage melting and separating into disjointed components of an indifferent and superfluous reality.

I peer out of the kitchen window, expecting to find the imps alighting on the balcony’s ledge. They usually gather around at this time to discuss the day’s events, to celebrate the passing whispers of days and seasons, to plan, plot, make love, then polish their sleek sweptback wings for yet another excursion.

They are gone. Treeless limbs rest lethargically in the distance, valgus and brittle. The rays of a rapidly descending sun cast them in a particularly stark and reprehensible relief. I make my way to the door, turning back once to take in this vast expanse of muddled ambitions. For the first time I leave it unlocked. A clear, bitter calipash congeals around my neck, through my nose, and over my eyes no sooner than I can manage two steps outside, asphyxiating me whole with stoic hands that only toil in withered fields.

I push my way past a gaggle of unkempt urchins frolicking aimlessly along the side street that eventually leads up to the old abandoned tea house two or so blocks east. I make my way south down towards the sparsely-dressed hillock that seems to be in perpetual solicitation for souls or at least a once-in-a-year ablution from the fleeting but curious clouds.

To my right is the road to Happy Ville where I often drowned myself in liquid sanity and floated along swells of lusty, sweltering bacchants with no faces. A particularly fearsome bacchante bedecked in an exotic suite of blue nainsook, rose beads and flowers coruscates with vulgar abandon, cheered on enthusiastically by bearded virtuoso vagabonds camped on the corner with whatever managed to produce just enough euphonious strands of harmony to get them through another night.

Two knights perched on horses look on with authority half subdued by prurient amusement. Tonight I drift along implacable currents of beings who knew no care but their own, bodiless heads weaving in and out of art galleries and watering holes like little organic molecules connected by skeins of dilapidated spirits and proud destitution. For all the activity, there is no life in this place.

I stand atop the hillock and set my gaze on the lake below, coloring it with what little my eyes have left. Forms arise, disappear, then back again, but always stagnant, an enticing tableau vivant bedewing my affections with delicate but devilish hands. My form is incomplete, my body a disjointed mass turning back on itself to find completion in a broken world. “It’s all vain, vain,” I cry, wringing my sweaty hands as I ponder the depths for all the answers I’ve ever needed.

Art: “Turquoise Blues III”
Carolyn Zimmerman

There are Many Mirrors Here…

There are Many Mirrors Here...

There are many mirrors here,
But none so translucent
As the one I turned away from
Moons and stars and galaxies ago,
When your possibility entered my awareness

And the dark corners that dutifully inhabit your space
Culminated into many precipices,
Each one beckoning me to leap
Into this sea that churns with unknowing-
Head unbowed, arms outstretched, hands trembling

As I clutch this mirror tightly; yes, the one I made for you,
Moons and stars and galaxies ago,
Now cracked in many places and blurred by the constant gale of
Moments perpetually come and gone
In this happy continuum of

Nothingness and light.
Before I take flight, it must be shattered
And cast into the sea,
And each piece will bear the faintest of illuminations
Until fully dissolved.

I will latch on to one,
And let it guide me home
Until it too becomes another moment,
Another memory weaved into
This vast wreath of possibilities both already realized and yet to be.

If I arrive not,
Remember not my failed journey,
But cherish the light that became its beginning,
And connect it with others
Until the circle is complete.

Art: “Gilded Wings”
Steven DaLuz