not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


such power exists
in the blank wall
in the white light
in the silence

it trembles
on the verge

bird, noise, word, body
cross the threshold

Monday, February 25, 2013

nosce te ipsum

what is it that makes something so simple so difficult?  (there is a key in the answer to this that i do not know the answer to.) at times i feel as though i am drowning in self, as though self is a bulk upon the eternal glimmer of me which is not me at all.  know yourself.  jesusgod, it is a life's work with no time for retrospect.

Friday, February 22, 2013

humility and reverance

Wendell Berry, A Native Hill,

“We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world - to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity - our own capacity for life - that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.

We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


we listen a great deal to the sounds in the distance, try to untangle their webbing.  sometimes only wind.  sometimes silence.  sometimes promises of coherence, language, understanding.  sometimes great joy. once we heard a wild sound which surely was an animal trapped and dying.  it reached a place of longing in us to do something which we could not do.  there was a body of water between us and the sound and a great distance of emptiness to search, no way to locate the suffering animal, really.  we'd have gone walking and searching forever.  and so instead we remained tied to the pain of the ground, dumbly on our own feet.  of course later we thought it was perhaps only a bird engaged in pursuits we could not understand, it possibly mimicking sounds we only guessed at.  this interpretation, true or not, will always remain possible.  most recently we heard a mad dog in the distance surely on the verge of death whose cacophonous distress broke into the distress of many, only for us to later learn that it was three happy hunting beagles out on a run.  what do we ever know, truly?  nothing.  but we listen to the sounds in the distance and try to name them.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

scenes of a life

when all of the thinking was done
hugh grimthorpe went home

Friday, February 15, 2013


no matter what
i die on both sides of it

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

light and shadow

it was quarter past five.  this day.  i was wearing a blue scarf.  the pigeons had landed with their feet out and their bodies leaning backward on the roof and were escaping in through the opening, first through the snow and then in through the structure itself.  he was arriving soon.  the children were at home on the couch, their bodies warm, their femurs a certain length, their mouths held unthinking and open as they breathed.  i was making my way to the forest.  the snow was deep and it would be work but welcome work for my body.  it would never happen this way again.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Barthes, "...each photograph always contains this imperious sign of my future death..."

the pitch pool tugs you down, sable, consuming shadows,  secret belly secret like your sex, your death, your dark dreams

you descend, mouth gaping small circles like tugs of teats, salmon ascending, the mind trying to rouse the mind from sleep

in this way we die while living
in this way we live while dying

Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
        Time let me hail and climb
    Golden in the heyday of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
        Trail with daisies and barley
    Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
    In the sun that is young once only,
        Time let me play and be
    Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
        And the sabbath rang slowly
    In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
    And playing, lovely and watery
        And fire green as grass
    And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
        Flying with the ricks, and the horses
    Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
    Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
        The sky gathered again
    And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
        Out of the whinnying green stable
    On to the fields of praise.

And honored among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
    In the sun born over and over,
        I ran my heedless ways,
    My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
        Before the children green and golden
    Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
    In the moon that is always rising,
        Nor that riding to sleep
    I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
        Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

(((for my uncle henry, for my mother, for all of us)))

Friday, February 8, 2013

the second punctum

i take your place in bed, you leaving the bed to brush your teeth, me scurrying to my rightful side.

"hurry," you say, "before the heat goes."

but it has always been going in this way.


and this is no poem.

 in fact, this refutes all poetry. damn all poetry!

damn clocks and sheets and damn your skin.

yes, damn your sweet soft skin.

virginia, december 2012
"I now know that there exists another punctum (another 'stigmatum') than the 'detail.'  This new punctum, which is no longer of form but of intensity, is Time, the lacerating emphasis of the noeme ('that-has-been'), its pure representation...the punctum is: he is going to die...a catastrophe which has already occurred.  Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is a catastrophe."
Barthes, Camera Lucida

manitoulin island, january 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ice walkers



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

and, remember yourself

there is nothing to fear

Monday, February 4, 2013

forget yourself

there is nothing to fear