New Poems by Clyde Kessler: The Young Child’s Breakfast

New Poems by Clyde Kessler: The Young Child’s Breakfast

 

AT THE PRIMITIVE CAMPGROUND IN THE GORGE

A ghost cannot gather itself
inside a tree, or a peregrine,
or a creek, or heaven. It cannot
draw stars through the window
of a building in Beijing, or
on a cabin near Woolwine with
spring peepers chorusing music
to fit the sky. It cannot revive
its mind in a trout lily, as much
as I wish. I can’t tell it my name.
I can’t share one flapjack, smoke,
or a sip of bootleg. I rummage
in a poke of cornmeal, and ask
hungry? The campfire won’t say.

 

 

TELLING LIES ALONG THE MONKEY RIVER

Clouds tease my boat down the Monkey River.
The sun slips past me with a jabiru on a mudflat.
I enjoy every lie I tell. One of them is a boat,
and another is Monkey River, and one more
is this jabiru staring at me, owning the river,
placing the sun in its wings, because my … Click to continue . . .

This is Not a Poem

This is Not a Poem

The Monkey Climbs a Tree

I.

With words come the square, the block
Of sound, time and space

With words, you fill the square
And we bounce you hither and yon

The block of time and space, ex nihilo
Becomes something you see, touch, hear

Smell if you’re advanced
Taste if you leap beyond the possible

II.

An image does more, because it is
The thing in a sense
A copy of the thing at least
But words can never be

The thing itself, the vessel
Or its roiling contents

III.

Words, like music, are embodied dreams
They float until finally seized
By hungry, desperate vagabonds
Cast off from the one true earth

Cast off, ironically, but still alive
Waiting for a dirt-filled muse to lead
Them halfway home

I wish I could make ten
Make ten before I die

Another time

 

 

 

— Douglas Pinson

Understated Angelic Choirs in Cynicstan

Understated Angelic Choirs in Cynicstan

Some things are meant to be in pairs. They’re meant to be twinned, coupled, one and one. Not because dualism wins. Not because we’ve lost out to dualism, in all of its permutations. After all, it’s dualistic to think in terms of the pairs and us, of the pairs not existing and us. Even of the need for pairs in this world, as if it isn’t already that way, and so.

 

Fix You and Run, by Coldplay and Snow Patrol, respectively, form such a pair for me. They belong to a category I’ve just invented, stolen from myself, stolen from a non-dualistic sphere, or from someone within it. No. It’s no one’s category, really. As long as no one grasps, it’s no one’s.

 

Fix You is a song of rescue and healing, ostensibly. But because we live in Cynicstan, that can’t be. It’s not allowed. It has to have loud guitars here and there, to make up … Click to continue . . .

Original Zen

Original Zen

I

Bridge of Shadows

When Einstein was asked
Do you believe in God?
He replied
I believe in Spinoza’s god

And who is that, one wonders?

All that is and ought to be
Now and forever
Blue waves without end
Stars and green mountains and red rivers

Dark roiling matter without end

II

The eternal reunions and disbursements of Nature
As it is and ought to be

Though we can’t see it
Blinded by this and that
Preset premade chain/anchor
On rational thought

III

Augustine poisoned us all
By saying we were all already poisoned
From conception on
By a toxin he felt and universalized

Save us from all individuals
Who seek to make their own experience
The law of the land
The world

 

 

The Impression of Peace

The Impression of Peace

Carcassonne. 2007. Photo by Douglas Pinson

It’s something we really don’t know much about at all. In our own lives. The absence of war. Even to the extent that we’re not involved, we see it elsewhere, hear about it, note its presence on the news, in books, in history, on film. It surrounds us, this absence, this lack of the presence of anything remotely akin to peace — again, whether or not we’ve ever experienced its opposite.

 

In. The. Air. It’s with us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s like the knowledge of an impending storm we know is ready to dump flotillas of hard rain on us from above. Dark skies. More than that. We’ve internalized this and it’s why we do whatever we can not to think about it and escape.

Escape into buying things. Stuff. Escape into, ironically, stories and films and documentaries and songs about war, violence, overwhelming aggression, death. In many ways, this escape is … Click to continue . . .

Anonymous Within Bright Lights, Big City

Anonymous Within Bright Lights, Big City

Gary Clark Jr. is one of those guitarists other guitarists, and musicians in general, just love. Just love to be on stage with. Born in Austin, Texas, in 1984, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest guitar players of his generation. In 2011, Rolling Stone named him “Best Young Gun.” Extreme skills on that instrument, even after some 60 years of Rock N Roll, still carry a great deal of weight. And when they’re Bluesy and Root’s based, they tend to garner even more respect.

 

The lyrics for the above song, from his 2012 album, Blak and Blu, seem to contest their own ground, with an ironic subtext of famous people singing about anonymity, demanding to be known by name, assuring they will before the night is through. The cool confidence and self-assured performance deepens this contradiction, and the edgy belief in the power of one’s own skills cuts across many realms.

The protagonist … Click to continue . . .

Bokeh: The Blur Before and After

Bokeh: The Blur Before and After

Directed by Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan, Bokeh is a beautifully understated Sci-Fi movie about the last two humans and what life might mean in that end of days context.

Jenai (Maika Monroe) and Riley (Matt O’Leary), a young couple from America, take a romantic trip of a lifetime to Iceland, and only the first day is “normal.” Deep into that first night, Jenai wakes up, goes over to the hotel window, sees what looks like the Aurora Borealis, and then a flash of light that spreads across the screen. She goes back to sleep. The next day, as they walk through town, she and Riley quickly learn everyone else has disappeared. There are no humans, anywhere, just the beautiful Icelandic landscape of mountains, springs, waterfalls, flowers and empty homes and stores.

They do many of the things you’d expect. They go from store to store to get tools, water, food and other essentials. They take two SUVs so they … Click to continue . . .

The Parable of the I

The Parable of the I

Tilted Gardens

Brains trick us. Not just those who use them, and use them carefully, creatively. Those who never use them are tricked too. We see things not as they are, but as our minds want us to see them. This provides a great deal of amusement for our brains, which is their sole reason for existing anyway. We seriously amuse them; they love this about us; and they tolerate us because of that. Take away our comedic efforts, and they’d shut us down in a heartbeat. For that matter, they’d shut down our hearts, too.

I love taking pictures of that exact moment in time when our brains are trying to pull a fast one on us, translating, as mentioned, what is into what they want us to see. Ironically, as amazing as our minds are, they’re not really as sophisticated as they’d like us to think, because we can — at least I can — catch them off … Click to continue . . .