Grief, a long spell, a turn of stoning wheels
for awhile, till the triggers disappear in trailing foam.
The least little thing. A complex welter of emotions borne
out of some ferry ride up the hillside. I can barely fit into words.
Call it grief, label it post-surgery depression, make a teak box
for the feelings to live in. Call it PTSD, a newer label for old
shell-shock. Call it dying and being reborn. This new body
still doesn't behave in expected ways. Surprise daily going sideways.
It doesn't have an operator's manual, it often refuses to obey.
I'd take a peasant's bright sword to it, if I could find one.
The peasants are the real winners, in the long run. Only thing
that matters is the harvest. Everything else is distraction, witness.
You can't reform a tradition you yourself put to the fire. Killed,
it might come back unuttered, but more likely it will be a spring
in an arid zone, a little round pool of brackish flow surrounded
by a brief oasis of reed and reel.
I went down to the river, sustained by pain. By sorrow. Some words
from a folk song I only half-recall. The tune is there, but the words
themselves are jumbled, scrabbled, hard talus on alluvial
plains of past sings. This morning I ache, everywhere. Can't seem
to put it off. Stabs turn up in places you never knew were there
till they gave you notice and started marching. A logjam breaking.
After weeks of furious stutter and shingle the river's flow returns.
Where were you, lost among the bramble and thicket? Welcome,
return of some semblance of waking. Meanwhile don't bend down
too quickly or you'll feel your guts complain anew. It's almost a day
full of irony and complaint.
Whatever voices you hear. Breaks in the narrative of life.
Millstones, ghost grain, the whiff of ink on lost finger.
That kick that turns you around. Kick of gears wearing down,
eroding teeth gone dull and barely fitting. No, not mine. Those
are fake already. Words barded through canines I owe a porcelain
sculptor, the man who returned my smile. I'd lost it under pressure.
Here's a place where sorrow can't enter. It's a small room, panelled in
white windows. Time to take my aching back out of here, go walk,
go do anything. This meditation pillow is breaking my ass open.
There's no comfort here anymore. A little oblique sanctuary
becomes what we imagined, back when we had the brains
to vision anything. Those dogs long gone. Now I'm picked
over for fish guts, entrails hung steaming over a chair-back.
an orrery of inner stars some oracle might read that final day
when they fail to stuff me back in.