Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cascada de las Ánimas


We prefer musics to muses.
A muse is a marble goddess,
A girl-frightened man's antique girl.

We're a strong-browed, talkative lot.
We're not always young or shapely
And not entirely female.

What do we do for you? Move you.
We all know how much you need it,
Nearly immobile, vacant soul.


Consider life in Zion Canyon
When rains festoon our desert's rock walls.
Waterfalls thin as spider silks arc

Belay lines fraying from every notch.
The earth could move at any moment
And at every moment does, but not

So that a life-tuned ant would notice.
No sun until Sunday. World ends then,
No more fog-draped probability.


There's a song only cave-finders hear,
A ghostly exhalation whistling
From the gaps in our explanations,

A breath felt with a cheek to the cliff,
Not a living thing, an escaping
From thin crust's river-carved underground,

The proof that the boring pleroma
Of monotonous, repeated rock
Conceals a vacancy rich in bones.


The stories continually invade
The ghost precincts of contemplation,
Demanding that someone tell them

Why it is that mere remembering
The hallucinatory past
Enhances the terror of dying

When it was only to soothe that fear
Of the unimaginable cliff
That clouds, descending, thought to turn back?


Love sings for the chemicals of love,
The same old story of repulsion
And attraction, of like pretending

Not to like, the messengers of life
Racing out to soldiers at the gates
Of horn, ivory, psilocybin,

To perform the rain dance of warning,
The most baffling of all messages,
Because we're you, we can't let you in.


Music among the most meaningful
In our lives, comparable to birth
Of a child, or death of a parent,

Mysticism dancing around us
As if we were invited, even
Sitting, placidly, still, as we must,

I have an answer to demand you
Question: nobody's experienced
Spiritualism unbodied.


The overview effect orbits cliffs
So inconsequential they appear
As smooth as the surface of a pond

In a meadow calm as your grandma's
Habit of singing Puritan hymns
As lullabies by which babies sleep

Without doubting or denying
By the murmuring streams of Zion
On spring evenings before we had names.


Girls on the cliffs sing recitatives;
"Uncontrollable introspection
Gradually shades out reality."

The seduction of all quotation,
Beginning with tuning in the womb
To cadences of our mother's lungs,

Is the belief that the veils of words,
Because they move, hide something to say.
"Life is a force," and we inch closer.


Last is random, most often male:
Archaic texts, conversations
With acquaintances passing through,

Hoarse and clever corvids' music,
Cunning and carrion-loving,
Song living closest to dying,

The lyric of the actual,
Thefts of ungainly elegance,
The innate alien of you.

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