• Email
  • Print

Just Before

At some point in the day, as such, there was a pool. Of
stillness. One bent to brush one’s hair, and, lifting
again, there it was, the
opening—one glanced away from a mirror, and there, before one’s glance reached the
street, it was, dilation and breath—a name called out
in another’s yard—a breeze from
where—the log collapsing inward of a sudden into its
hearth—it burning further, feathery—you hear it but you don’t
look up—yet there it
bloomed—an un-
learning—all byway no birthpain—dew—sand falling onto sand—a threat
from which you shall have
no reprieve—then the
reprieve—Some felt it was freedom, or a split-second of unearthliness—but no, it was far from un-
earthly, it was full of
earth, at first casually full, for some millennia, then
desperately full—of earth—of copper mines and thick under-leaf-vein sucking in of
light, and isinglass, and dusty heat—wood-rings
bloating their tree-cells with more
life—and grass and weed and tree intermingling in the
undersoil—& the
earth’s whole body round
filled with
uninterrupted continents of
burrowing—& earthwide miles of
tunneling by the
mole, bark beetle, snail, spider, worm—& ants making their cross-
nationstate cloths of
soil, & planetwide the
chewing of insect upon leaf—fish-mouth on krill,
the spinning of
coral, sponge, cocoon—this is what entered the pool of stopped thought—a chain suspended in
the air of which
one link
for just an instant
turned to thought, then time, then heavy time, then
suddenly
air—a link of air!—& there was no standing army anywhere,
& the sleeping bodies in the doorways in all
the cities of
what was then just
planet earth
were lifted up out of their sleeping
bags, & they walked
away, & the sensation of empire blew off the link
like pollen—just like that—off it went—into thin air—& the athletes running their
games in Delphi entered that zone in the
long oval of the arena where you run in
shadow, where the killer crowd becomes
one sizzling hiss, where,
coming round that curve the slowness
happens, & it all goes
inaudible, & the fatigue the urgent sprint the lust
makes the you
fantastically alone, & the bees thrum the hillsides, & all the blood that has been
wasted—all of it—gathers into deep coherent veins in the
earth
and calls itself
history—& we make it make
sense—
& we are asked to call it
good.

  • Email
  • Print