Rondeau, on attention My attention spans this bridge. This gap is a whole in my head, is a hole in my hands where I hold my world together, just an old vacancy between my stasis and my change. This thing that I twist and twiddle with is still, a list of paper chasing after folds. My attention spans more and less than I am. This space is a place that hides the kiss of time, hides it in every hole and makes me time’s churlish cuckold, held captive by all that has missed my attention.
That old shell of a Chevy in the field down by the creek became our base, our fortress, our refuge and our shelter. In all those days of story and eventuality even innocence placed its lost loves where we met, shyly, so long ago. We trysted, we parted, came together and parted gently again. We grew there. We grew up there. We grew roots in our minds and hearts there that dig and search the soil there still, search for meaning, twine into leaning loves and tilted, quizzical glances, looks that say, “Maybe….again.” ~ And now the grass grows up through the floorboards. Rust falls to dust the earth in a halo all around. The blood of the place runs into the soil—our blood, our time, our labors of growth, the things we do and did that can not be counted as work and cannot be priced, all those lessons lost with the rust, leeched into the soil, washed from us like the sweat from our bodies, like the mud from our bare feet when we ran like animals through the field and through the creek. ~ The rain patters on the roof, singing us softly into the night and we sleep. When dawn comes there are bare drips from the roof onto the old rearview mirror. They roll around the edge to curl under and fall down and splash on the dashboard where we put the candles the night before. And we come back to this place, to this comfort. I come here and you are there before me, that look on your face that says, “God, you're silly! Silly for coming back…..but, here I am again, waiting.” ~ Time and time, and— God! How it hurts to watch it go, to feel it lose its grip on you. ~ This space remains. This space is never the same. This space is never the same shape. It will not fit us anymore.
Our lives are six kinds of dust. There is too much that must be done before a thousand something elses can and will be done and we'll be done when we are dead. We won't be done until we're old and then? The sheer weight of it all will fall from us like lights from small cities of the mind gone the way of the false dawn, drawn from the bones of our nights, from the final hour of this short day’s lost seam, this longest of night’s dream.
...with Rondelet epigraph... A revision of this piece, written in early December, on the death of Dave Brubeck. Looking at this a while back, I realized that I completely missed a line in the rondeau form and finally got around to fixing it.
You made meter analytic and yet profound. You made meter part of sound that then grew sweeter. Then you took jazz and capped and gowned it, and with all you found around you, made meter. ~~~~~ You made meter a household word we all hung onto like a bird. We all wanted to be that free. You made it possible to see deeper into rhythms now heard every day, all around us, spurred deeper delvings into our world of pattern and texture. For me, you made meter a thing that I could touch, that stirred in me a poet, though much blurred by time and fickle memory. I am now still, able to see, now surfacing, how disinterred, you make meter.
I. There is a fall in to dark, felt in the bone, a loss of heat, a slow tilting away and cyclical spin into space, a shy, unnoticed turning of blue and green to grey. They say that the light goes out of it as if the light leaves of its own accord, a wan A-chord in the wood. There is a word in the dark where no moon is heard... II. There I read of the spoon-fed dead, how their zen amounted to zed, surmounted by spires built to go higher until their fires flew in the sky and spied and tried twisting their wrists in the bonds they had become so fond of, that they loved even though reviled and shoved away and held sway over the fray and stayed none the less where their sun-born lies could not see through the tresses but blessed the butcher and the barber none the more let them near with their knives and their shears while tears came and the rending of garments began the beating of chests and the mustering bluster and pounding of hearts into dust III. ...and you looked at me with your moon-bone eyes and I saw to the hearts of the stars felt solar wind in the spars and lines of age on my primal face knew the breeze with the skein of seven seas knees climbing millennia to the crow’s nest and finally resting raced to the crest of the day and rubbed galaxies from the corners of my eyes. Two haiku sonnets and a...pseudo-sonnet?