Monday, December 31, 2007

The Stream of an Airplane

Below the plane, cauliflower clouds and the lapse

where constellations of city light appear

Then the lemon of sun that turns white before baby blue fades

lovingly into indigo, cobalt, midnight

Going home with heart filled, what to remember but color

blotched and faded, orange now fuchsia pink a radiance like youth

unbuckled at the belt of sky where the flesh of earth radiates

into the wit of imagination, a borrowed home

The heave of spring against the volcano of winter

the gray turbulence stiff in the joints of memory

time blowing in and out of the window cracks

the faded fields where wheat dreams hunger

A hunger so wet it swims

Now an ocean of tumble clouds and the word "turtle"

a delicate tea cup placed in saucer, the word "turtle"

like teeth from plush lips arriving in a smile

hair astray and mountains in a young man's dreaming eyes

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Power Book by J Winterson

"You will live in this world as though it is real, and then you will know, as I do, that all your adventures and all your possessions, and all your losses, and what you have loved--this gold, this bread, the green glass sea--were things you dreamed as surely as you dreamed of buffalo and watercress."

--J Winterson, The Power Book

"...for love is the mortal enemy of death. Love is death's twin, born in the same moment, each fighting for mastery, and if death takes all, love would do the same. Yet it is easier to die than to love."

"Death will shatter me, but in love's service I have been shattered many times." --J Winterson, The Power Book

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I woke up thinking about god. I was talking about god to L. last night: I can't imagine a god, I can't imagine this world without a god. I think of the old god again, the god I grew up loving with a madness never again recaptured.

What I remember from my youth was an overwhelming sense of completion and wholeness. As I grew older and more critical of the world, more curious, god became suspect. I grew angry with him for his judgment of me, for the guilt that abused me, and angst came to replace the younger, brilliant version of a god of sureal wholeness.

I remember the last most vivid god emotion, seven years ago, crying over a Flannery O'Connor story in my basement apartment. I believed suddenly and completely in the battered, wounded god of my youth, the crusified man-god that came to Mary in visions.

The claim of the Christians was extreme: a god that defied the normal cycles of life and death to return--traditionally this is known as a zombie/between life and death/ a most grotesque form...however, the Biblical Gospels reassure us that Christ was fully alive--to walk among the living one final time. I always think it is written this way as a proof, a way of redeeming their murdered god; as many must have said, if you are a god, come down from the cross and destroy your assailants. Beauty is not a form of domination. It is an understanding that one gradually comes to: Life is both beautiful and hideous. The murdered god never came back as zombie/psedo-man.

From the Gospel of Thomas, as quoted by Elaine Pagels in her book, The Gnostic Gospels: Since it has been said that you are my twin and true companion, examine yourself so that you may understand who you are...I am the knowledge of the truth. So while you accompany me, although you do not understand (it), you already have come to know, and you will be called 'the one who knows himself'. For whoever has not known himself has known nothing, but whoever has known himself has simultaneously achieved knowledge about the depth of all things.

She then quotes the gnostic teacher Theodotus, "each person recognizes the Lord in his own way, not all alike."

And finally, she writes, "Like circles of artists today, gnostics considered original creative invention to be the mark of anyone who becomes spiritually alive. Each one...expected to express his own perceptions by revising and transforming what he was taught. Whoever merely repeated his teacher's words was considered immature."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shaman Rock beside Lake Baikal

Bone and Sea:

something sunken
under sea, heavier yet
broken, the skin torn
bone laundry scattered
over the beach, golden yellow hued
blue sea of Baikal, misty Siberia
a wind like train through a tunnel
missing you, missing you here
as I stretch my winter worn
legs to climb the Shaman Rock
and watch the strips of cloth tied
in branches of trees, whip and echo
Buddhist prayer.

wishing for you, wishing
love’s heavy head, born out of distance,
waiting to cross the beach, collect stones
in my pockets, smooth as milk,
the wind shrill, empties me,
my cheeks burn as I turn back,
thinking of you
of your bones drifting through
seas, of your skin and teeth,
beautiful body
that some day too will end.