Holy Saturday – prose poem

An evil flower

Saturday, mid-April, spring 2014, slightly cloudy not overcast like yesterday, a little cool but nowhere near cold. Morning sun occasionally illuminating, gracious light that calls me, that draws me, that pulls me like the moon pulls the tide, eternally, relentlessly, as long as you allow this time space awareness reality to persist. Finger typing requires a level of concentration that is not unpleasant.

Listening to Christian contemporary music on iHeart radio. Doing everything in my power to keep from reaching out to him, desperate to know that he is okay (all the while knowing that he is), I must not oh please God I will not. I must stay here, stand here, plant myself so that I may bear the fruit of my labors.

Seed, seedling, shoot, blossom, seed-bearing plant, seeds encased in sweet succulent tasty tantalizing tempting fruit. I fed him for quite a while, Lord, as he reckons time, not so long for me, more than a passing fancy but not earth-shattering or life-changing or anything like that, but important, very important, another major event in this life that God has given me.

 

Evening and Morning – prose poem

An evil flower

I am. Thank you, God.

I am a little depressed today, not for any reason in particular, just the flow of the day. I am a little worried about him but I know I have to let go and I have but that doesn’t mean I don’t still care. I care. Hopefully I will always care.

It rattles around in my awareness, a nagging worry about where he is, if he is okay? Do I really care about him or am I using him as a chimera to keep from having to deal with the demons within. The last night we drank together, he struggled, oh, how he struggled. He just knew what he had to do to do what he had to do and that meant doing what he had to do not what he wanted to do. “I have to give myself up, go back to the evil one, to survive.” Lord, you promised you would watch over him and take care of him for me. Thank you, God.

Friday morning, overcast, unusual but not unpleasant. A blustery day, as Winnie-the-Pooh would say. Not really interested in a Christopher Robin sort of day, I want a Peter Pan day. The poet wants to sing but he can’t quite rouse himself from a lethargy that leaves him will-less, open, pregnant with expectation but unmotivated, waiting for that spark of light, that flash of light, that awareness of awareness that comes when you catch that other’s eyes and you know and he knows and for a moment you connect to something that leaves you with a desire for more of the eternal.

It’s been a week now, the ache of missing him is steady. I could be sitting in there at the laptop or the desktop, typing away easily and comfortably but here I am, forcing myself to focus on this touchscreen keyboard because I want to get comfortable writing on this tablet.

Poetry is not easy. There are those who say poetry is patterns, fill in the blanks with whatever silly sentiment happens to be current, and on a craft level it is true, as all arts demand an understanding of what it is and why it is considered so. Poetry contains patterns, takes advantage of rhythms. Poetry inspires and expresses, invokes the best and the worst and everything in between.

Sometimes I feel the flow and allow myself the ease of flowing, of knowing that I may provoke smile or two before leaving my reader with a thought he may chew for over a bit and find a place where my understanding will nourish him and contribute to his awareness.

To the good, I pray. Revelation would be nice but is unnecessary. You placed me here in the twenty-first century for a reason. I accept the real world. For me it only confirms your might, o God.

 

Blood Moon – prose poem

An evil flower

Sitting on my patio, watching the shadow slowly cover the moon. The blood moon according to the astronomers. I am alone and deserve to be so. It is hard. He had to do what he had to do. I know that and I need to give him the space he needs to become who he is.

Listening to Christian music makes it hard for me to feel sorry for myself and I think that is the point, why I turned myself in that direction. I am trying, Lord, I am weak and I always fall, I always fail. And I hate myself when I do and I feed that hatred by twisting and perverting the truth into a self-serving wall behind which I try to hide from God.

I keep saying that I know who I am. But, do I? Really? I have accepted certain things about myself, certain unpleasant aspects of my personality that I have found useful, although they cost me a little bit of my self-respect, diminish my soul. Yes, Lord, I know. I understand. Certainly, I am responsible. I am willful and I secretly cling to weaknesses convincing myself that they are the badges of my humanity, the talents the master gave me to steward.

The moon is almost gone, swallowed by a darkness. But there is a lightness in my heart because in spite of all the efforts of my willful self-serving human nature, I prayed a lot and I think (I hope, I pray) that I was somehow an instrument of God’s will and somehow in some way I made a difference. Oh God, please, let it be so.

In the name of the one God. Your will, not mine.

 

Still Life – prose poem

Another evil flower

Mallarme only lived to be forty-four. I am not sure how what correlates to modern lifespans, the life expectancy of the average bon vivant in nineteenth century Paris couldn’t have been very long, even though Victor Hugo lived through most of the century. Even so, forty-four seems young to me, cut down before he had to confront the true cost of life well lived – eventual decline and passage on, out of this reality into whatever comes next.

It has been two weeks now and I am still thrilled by this machine, my Dell Windows 8 Tablet. Typing is still a little slow but my accuracy is getting much better. Got it loaded with a nice supply of magazines, a movie that I am going to try to watch (The Seminarian), a handful of records (from which I will extract my favorite songs to a new songbook), and three book lists.

My reference books are The Dictionary  of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, The Oxford Companion th Philosophy, and The Norton Anthology of Poetry. My current folder contains volumes that I am currently working my way through: Badiou’s The Rebirth of History, Belk’s Biology for Life, The Windows 8.1 Bible, Mallarme’s Collected Poems, Peterson’s Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels, Teach Yourself Visually Windows 8 Tablet, and Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. My dock folder has a whole bunch of stuff that I am looking forward to working through.

I remember discovering Mallarme’s Dice Thrown while I was floating around in French culture and language and becoming transformed, transported to an alternative reality, I got an intimations of the true beauty of Plato’s Theory of Forms.

The next morning

Beautiful morning, but that’s to be expected in the desert southwest. A blustery Winning-the-Pooh kind of day is the rarity, the rare flower in a perpetual garden that is to be cherished when it finally decides to bloom. The magnificent glory of near perpetual sun and clear skies appeals to the optimist that I am at heart.

Of course, my optimism is conditional, irrational. Exceptional is the hope with which I greet each day, a faith not founded on proofs or commands but the acceptance of a promise and an honest, willful life lived sincerely seeking always to do as God wills.

Finding Mallarme’s Collected Poems and Other Verse (Oxford, 2006) was a wonderful thing. I am sure somewhere in all my boxes of books I still have my Mallarme, the volume in which I discovered, simply by turning a page, a marvel whose mysteries fascinated me and into whose icy depths I plunged like those crazy people I see on TV, diving into a hole in the ice of a large body of water. The shock to my awareness was instantaneous and thorough, it rocked the very foundation of all those psychic systems that maintained until that point an entity that I had thought was myself, and really was just not entirely.

I even remember how I got into it. First the note explaining that the translation isn’t face to face but follows because the poem has to seen as a whole. I had been working hard on learning to read French and so I followed the large print as I took a few seconds letting my mind absorb each two page spread as a whole. When I got to the translation I read a little deeper, let the odd word or phrase catch my attention.

The visual worked because it was, for me, the first time I had ever encountered such a marvel. I dove into it, read the translation slowly, word by word, phrase by phrase, thought group by thought group. I realized that God had done me the favor of giving me earlier a fascination with Roland Barthes whose writings on writings gave me a handle with which I was able to pry open Dice Thrown and take my own treasures therefrom.

An evil flower – prose poem

I rage against this man that I am and yet I return time and again to these same knots, these same situations that always yield the same consequences, is it built into my genes? Am I cursed by a microscopic strand of amino acids to play out these patterns, to revisit again and again these same impotent situations (yes, I chose that word carefully, I even used a thesaurus) forcing myself into having to accept the same painful consequences (but always able to feel justified somehow, as though I am the wronged one), arrgh.

I knew better, I know better, but how was I to resist when he appeared in my yard, a brilliant splay of colors. You don’t get a lot of color in the desert. He was so beautiful that to not appreciate him would have been a denial of all that I hold true and right, so of course I cherished him and grew to love him. Soul love, a deep and abiding love that will remain ever a part of me even after he is finally done with me and moved on to the next stage of his life.

Enough self-pity, I just need to get out more. I have so busied myself that I have lost track of myself and that is not a good thing. I only have so much time left to be, to do, to create. Your will, oh Lord.

Lord, please let me be the instrument of your will so that when I come to judgment you will recognize me as having been a good and faithful servant.

I like to think that Mallarme would appreciate these vain poems. I think that he would recognize another who senses the eternal in the ephemeral and who rages at the limits of language to express his joy in being able to conceive of the eternal at all.

Thank you, Lord, please help me safely navigate this treacherous stretch along this river of life. I allowed myself to get a little inebriated by the fragrance of the blossom you blessed me to see. Let me be content with that. In the name of the one God.

 

An evil flower – prose poem

I don’t want to but I do, I shouldn’t but it’s as though I turned some part of my awareness off and now I find myself sitting here overwhelmed by guilt, overcome by the awareness that once again I am proving the haters right, I am weak, I am flawed. I do really stupid stuff sometimes. I am just trying to survive and feed those aspects of myself that are me. It is wrong to want more than I afford, it is wrong for me to self-medicate, to ease the pain of living that sometimes hurts so bad that it makes me want to cry, How long can I carry on like this, Lord, trying to live up to this insane vision of me that the people seem to have, or at least that I project upon them in order to give myself some unattainable ideal to try to live up to knowing that I will fail, hate myself for it, and continue to do evil in spite of my conscious will to do good. God, I’m convoluted, twisted, unreasonably perverse.

I am not the good man I would be, I am not the good man that I would have them see. I am evil, I allow my will to blind my reason, to allow baser desires for security and comfort to masquerade as a higher morality. I have merely shown myself without morality, totally without justification, they have done nothing but love me, cherish me, be there for me and share their lives with me. And this is how I repay them. I betray them.

I betray myself.

I am sorry, God, a few more than forty pieces of silver but surely not worth the same. It was not worth it. I hurt. Even if they never notice, even if they never say a word, it is there, it will always be there. And I will always and forever know must how unworthy of their love I am.

Poem

A beautiful, gloriously full of the magnificence of your creation, oh Lord, morning.

A little cool perhaps but the heat is coming, another summer soon

Gloriously warm dusks promising promiscuous nights, dream work

Preparing the way for tomorrow’s day work, a new generation festers

Oil and dirt in the pores, a whitehead forms, pushes to the surface,

Most of the bacteria will die but maybe you will touch the spot, carry

The virgin bride away, sole carrier of her species DNA, survival.

We all want to, whatever the cost, or so they tell us, those

Materialistic behaviorists, those social scientists in their clean

White coats carrying on their dirty experiments, analyzing the masses

Manipulating the many so that the few may thrive. We contrive

An acceptable standard, we waive our banner high, we will know why

Even if that why turns out to be nothing at all. I don’t believe it. I know

God lives in my heart, I have opened myself to a world with meaning.

I was made for a purpose, chosen to fill this place in time and try

To make sense and rhyme at the same time. Thank you, God.