30 Nov 2006

As if from within a flurry of angel wings, I heard a song — that is what I wish to say of where my poetry comes from. But it is as Gustave Flaubert said, “Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.” It sounds so much better in my head — so much better, in fact, before it is ever put into words. That is what many of us would desire to be able to do, is it not? Pour emotions directly on the paper? Perhaps then, there would be no separate class of beings called “artists”... or is it that some of us have such a strong vision, that even when it is hewn by our (lack of) ability to render it in the outer world, something of it still contains a fire from within, and it moves all of us? But I claim not such a thing, myself. My song comes not from in the midst of angel wings’ flurry.

Perhaps it is not even a question of talent, for looking into history, one wonders how many things received as much attention as they did — for these things, however embarrassing to humanity, struck some common chord in so many of us. (And no one, by the way, escapes the zeitgeist his entire life: such a one who thinks he operates outside the time in which he lives operates under a very large illusion.) Perhaps there are many in the world who are van Goghs that never get discovered. I would like to think so. For we are all of us, the best of us, are beating a cracked kettle while the bears dance, trying not to think of the stars while we keep in time. That the stars stay unmoved by our coming or going, whether we made any noise or not. Myself, though: I desire to make the noise.

It may be, ultimately, that in our desire to create, from where it comes and to where it goes does not matter in the slightest. For in those spectacular moments of poetry, when cataclysms of imagery rise and fall, and I wield the word as if it were Excalibur itself, I am immortal. And I need not any validation of this experience, no one to tell me I have lived. Mayhap that is how one knows, in the end, that he has lived indeed.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

27 Nov 2006

Fail. Begin again, wiser.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am


my dreams drink from the endless stream of whispers
flowing from the milky starlight night has spilled from her dark breast
i hear the liquid darkness pools where dip the roots of all knowledge
(all waters reflect infinity, however much they resemble your face)
the darkness shall evaporate from the shoulder of dawn
like a soldier over a hill, another day will rise and subside
my whisper drops into eternity, to be dreamed by someone else

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

24 Nov 2006

It all comes together like a rushing of the four winds to a pinnacle. We, caught in the updraft of the coalescing airs can only brace ourselves for when the raging forces know some strange certainty, that which we cannot deny nor explain. Thus is the sound of prophecy alighting on the land: more elemental than the storm, throttling through the heart of those who stand in the face of the world machine. This is what can be imagined of infinity, all that we, the images of love itself, may apprehend of the vasty light above. It comes in words, it comes in riddles, it comes in rhythms that unease us. Though who is to say how it will affect any of all whom they strike? One thinks some would be dumbstruck in holy know, some disturbed beyond the extents of earthly concern. And then there would be the unbeliever, in whom there is no miracle, who smile and think they understand: how foolish are we to put our trust in a higher. But who knows? Even these may choose a side, unknowing the part they play in the grand destiny.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

21 Nov 2006

Hold on
Hold on to yourself
This is gonna hurt like hell

– Sarah McLachlan

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Egon Schiele: Sunset

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

18 Nov 2006

Then there is the magic renewal. This is a miraculous thing: when you think all inspiration has flown from you, there is splashed upon your spirit the waters of life. This is what it means to be alive: we grow tired of the greatest things, only to find newness in what is common. We must find inspiration where we can, even in things we would not be proud of, even in the hidden thoughts that no one but we will ever know — but if they yield some insight into the condition of being who we are, then we find meaning where we perhaps thought we wasted something of ourselves. For we know we are sinners, and that nothing that comes from us is free from blemish, but even the imperfect acts we purpose can be of true significance, and nothing, if it comes to it, is ever wasted. For we out of nowhere can experience magic, that sense that something right has come from the randomness. That we were meant to be here.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

16 Nov 2006

Let no one suppose that we may attain to this true light and perfect knowledge, or life of Christ, by much questioning, or by hearsay, or by reading and study, nor yet by high skill and great learning. Yea, so long as a man taketh account of anything which is this or that, whether it be himself, or any other creature; or doeth anything, or frameth a purpose, for the sake of his own likings or desires or opinions or ends, he cometh not unto the life of Christ.

– Theologia Germanica

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

a flash of illumination, what was it, exactly?
illusions, too, have much undeniable light and sound to them
dreams feed on real or no, sometimes to starve without knowing why

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

13 Nov 2006

What dreams may come?

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Where have I seen this before? A page in my imaginary history swats open, and I run my mind’s eye down the lines of worn text. There was love, somewhere, and I must say of myself that I have never been completely without it, however much I complained that I was stranded. But the lines of that face, the situational physics of this whole phenomenon, the interplay of light and shadow (like the world were specifically trying to tell me something of the nature of what we see, and what sees us): something in me recognizes something of the eternal bit of us that we have on loan from God. And then I look away for a second, and look back, and there is nothing out of the ordinary about anything here. Or perhaps that is the trick? To notice what we don’t notice, because we see it all the time, what memory stubbornly will not admit into its doors….

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

10 Nov 2006

i am shook from the sky, fire from the stars

i am death that lives, the outline of a world

i am thought unthought, on the brink of myself

i am hurtling straight up, breaking the atmosphere

i am light in form, a shoulder of illumination

i am a vast, unclaimed forest at the edge of nowhere

i am wind that remembers, distance that knows

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

7 Nov 2006

From the moment I could talk
I was ordered to listen

– Cat Stevens

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

van Gogh: Trees in the Asylum Garden

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

4 Nov 2006

We come to Jesus Christ: and He does for us what He promised; and the thing works out. To our amazement, it works out. And then we settle down. We have had our own first-hand and irrefutable experience. But, instead of opening the windows to the glory of the sunshine so evidently there, instead of being incited to a hugeness of faith by what Christ has already done for us, we can’t believe that there can be anything more, or that even He can work, for us, anything better. That first foretaste satisfies us. And so we camp for life out on the confines of the Kingdom, and never press on to inherit what is there and meant for us.

– A. J. Gossip

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

the death of magic

embittered by the reward we gave up so much to achieve, it tasted thus, not so sweet
desiring from the chaos of the words that they coalesce into some mystic meaning
the rhythms move us, and no one will question why, no one will hold anything back
having been alive for thousands of years, but having only been awake for five minutes
we are smaller than some of the sadnesses that will not let us go, as we try to forget
that which burns in us gathers all its voices, then loses sound in the wondering of itself
what precious perversion keeps us in doing what is right, facilitates the murdering?
the utter frustration: we want to be heard so badly because we have nothing to say
shook loose from the heavens in an accidental finality, the dream of all that was lost
we desired rightly, then lost ourselves in search, stranded in the ocean of ourselves
coming around to the beginning of nothing, ending in twitching, arbitrary abruptness
it makes sense of it all: we were awakened in the middle of a perpetual dying, a flash
we turn around in place, and the whole scenery changes when we get back into place
indeed we did it to ourselves, all the tomorrows we made from this unmade today
the holler lost in the howl of time blowing by, an unknown smile in the distant past

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

1 Nov 2006

I think it is no mistake that it takes no talent, no extraordinary intelligence or charisma, to be happy. That a simple man can even be supremely happy with simple things, while some who are rich and famous languish in despondency. I think it is something many of us forget, or really, never realize. For we seek after things like notoriety, like wealth, like status, like power — but for what? Is it not that what we all truly are searching for is happiness, in the final analysis? Yet so many of us forget all else when caught up in the game, perhaps not understanding that what we seek is not what we seek, what we want is not what we want — that life can be so much simpler than we make it for ourselves, but that we refuse to acknowledge this could be so. We become lost in plain sight: thus never knowing how cast away we are from our true north.

The simple man, with simple dreams, dreams that come true because they are so available to us: because of their commonness, those in their high towers look down on them as sheep, that something must be wrong with them because… they are happy with what they have. But they miss an even higher purpose that works in the world, that satisfaction is not something that only they who climb the airy heights may taste (of literature, science, business, art, technology, what have you), climb to achieve great things. Not to say that happiness does not lie in greatness, but one may discover, if having had of both the common and the great, that one really is not more than the other. Just different. For who is to say which is the more joy — the man with wine older than he, or the child with the chocolate given him by his favorite uncle?

The world works, I think, in stranger ways that we imagine — but not in stranger ways than we can imagine. The world is a complicated thing, if we try to work out why to the nth detail. But one may find that it is like love: it is so simple we’ll never understand it. That simple joys, those within the province of anyone to attain — these may be the best of all. And I think I will not tell you why this is so, but tell you that this is so. Truly. Listen to what your heart tells you about the subject, and don’t think so hard if you want to figure out such a why!

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

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