Sunday, January 14, 2007

Magnitude 3.4 Epicenter 38.01N 122.25W

earthslide and waveshift. punches through, a fist of uncertainty, knocking you off your assumptions. each time, a little more liquid; till you assume nothing, and surf. slow waves from the east, through the mountain, and shrugged over the hill. two or three kinds of sound. the crisp surface ripples; the gong tone rebounding inside a bell; the spherical pressure of compression and release that gathers directly, simply. a child-god dropping a bell. deer raise their heads, spread locked knees, and wait. nothing shattered, nothing forged. a solitary cat stares past the eastern trees, towards origin. if you slid into the bay, tonight, today, volitional, arbitrary, you would enter the waters naked, all naked, in mind, blank sheet white mind, more emptied than the world of objects and slaves. this time, you kept your footing, and could restore the illusion of solidity you expect the ground to have. this time, you could pretend it never happened. this time, the scrapers ticked and came to rest again, briefly, paused in their slow flight to the arctic, and the sound behind the northern winds.

In December of 2005, I was sitting at home in Pinoie, CA, writing, when an earthquake rolled through at 10:21 am, centered on the Hercules fault in the San Francisco East Bay Area. It was a very light one. Nothing disturbed. But that sensation of the ground moving under and around you is not something you soon forget. The walls shed a trickle of dust and plaster; the shelves creaked; the birds in the rosebushes outside my window were briefly still, as if waiting. I studied geology in college, and still maintain a strong amateur interest in the field. It's always interesting when geologic time and human time intersect like this, it changes your whole perspective on things.

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Blogger With Hammer And Tong...The LetterShaper said...

As a poet, I very much enjoyed my walk through your an avid reader, I think I enjoyed it even more. Time well spent...

11:21 PM  

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