Faces in the Fire, Voices in the Stream
Getting you're shit together in Precambrian times. The first stoner was an ancient Celtic guy named Dud, found fully preserved, sunk in a muskeg bog in Hochdorf, Germany. Of course we can't be sure his name was Dud, after all he'd been moldering away there for a few thousand years. When they opened him up for study, they found he had in his gullet, cannabis. Turns out his last meal he had the munchies. They found burnt bannock, and pollen of mistletoe. Wow never been that stoned! "hey, pass the burnt bannock willya, I need something to help choke down this mistletoe, dang it's spicy."
Let's imagine ourselves, an ancient Celtic stoner, living in a wattle hut near a stream. None of the kids are useful for anything but war, but I have the Druid weed, a pinch in the pipe and I begin to divine the future by reading the lines on people's foreheads. I once drifted off into a dream where I thought if I climbed this tree, I'd be able to see if there are bears. I was busy climbing up and the bear was busy looking down at me. Everything is so dang dangerous, dreams for example.
For Big Al
We pass by in a line
as old elephants do
one eye on the dead one
by the side of the mud hole.
An old elephant dies, the rest of us
move forward in the rut of habitual turning
and one by one we too will kneel down
for the final time, unaware that the rest will pass
with a remembering eye on a dead elephant
kneeling by a mud hole.
A Man's Unfinished Dream in 4 parts
In the land of the Northern snows is a fish they call the Gar.
Trapped under the ice are air bubbles, air, trapped released from the lake bottom by a dislodgement, mud and air escape towards the surface, clouds the light green is the colour of ice on the bottom, air reaches for small caves, where stories are released. It was not uncommon for drunken fishermen to dive down their hole, to swim under the ice over to the next ice-hut and come up through their hole, surprise, and begin to spout out some story picked up from the lake bottom. It was like this with my uncle Dud he. played this trick many times, told strange stories, had dreams. I once asked Dud if he ever saw anyone else under there, like some other adventurer, or crazy person. Dud said nope, but once, when he came up and had dried off, he thought of our ancient aunt Enid.
I am divided right down the center, half of me is quite crazy, stepping from one moving thought to another, always hurrying to keep up, my crazy world is filled with three dimensionality, the doorknob toast the queen I was born and rehearsed to be a joyful little god, Loki, ,Omega the blue crow, a sliding trickster with my pillbox of assorted annoyances, it comes easily, I was born for it I had no mother to recall me back, I invented my character, borrowed the sinus of my family story, slyness came from my aunt Enid. My mind works as a kind of searchlight, beaming through the archival information, long periods of darkness, then a quick flash of light, the shape of information verifies an idea .during the dark patches, I dream.
Under the ice, the gar fish, copper line under the ice, at a great depth, gar fish, copper line, it needs to sink, gar fish, under the ice.
Under the ice green light, gar fish, copper line, pale green, the copper line under the ice it is green, there are fish. Under the ice Enid swims past the fish into the green air pocket , gar fish, copper line, Enid at an air pocket, copper line, gar fish under the ice, gar fish ,green light, under the ice green sun, air pockets, a woman on the move.
Under the ice baited traps, gar fish, copper line, hooks galore, the policeman comes, haul up your line ,gar fish, green light, bodies moving, traps illegal ,take'em away, copper line, green sun ,Enid on the move, gar fish, under the ice, copper line. Under the ice the highway calls, green light, green fish, air pockets, copper line, fishhook traps, green light ,Enid takes what's offered, moves to the next exit, green sun under the ice, many stories, copper line, I saw you're head burst through the water, gar fish.
Sailors don't want to cut the cord , they want to bite it, they want to bite it through, that's what you did, I shudder at you're remembrance, and drowning under the ice is part of the sailors world, trans-terrestrial navigators, sailing in the perverse world of upside diddly-down, when we went to Australia, mother, the sailor man. From under the ice the moon is drunk, can't keep its orbit, seems hesitant about which phase, is fidgety, St Vitas dance, grandpa called it, attributed it to me, the drunken moon, fidgety under the ice.
The sailor will not cut the cord or the line, or the rope, the string, nor scissor the wool, or break, for any malevolent reason a spider web. The sailor will unravel it and it will be part of the process of time.
If death comes as a slow bubble from the bottom, a movement, some ancient air escapes, many lost formulas, pathetic endings, lonely old shoes, this slow bubble leaves the lake floor and begins to rise through the green, Enid sees crystal clear, there is an opening in the torn garment, just ahead, copper line, gar fish, it takes a while for the air of trapped death is in no rush. death can live in the air pocket caves under the ice for centuries
It's warm tonight
at elevation 6.
The wind is from the South
the chimes alert me
to a story in the wind.
I thought I heard geese, traveling
and I thought of you, the traveler.
Where the hell are you, you took off
but your shadow stayed behind
We had lunch in Elk just last week.
You didn't finish your water.
Whenever it is warm you can expect rain.
Each drop will have some kind of nit-wit remembrance.
It's that kind of night.
One time, in Quebec, you said,
"We're sliding right into that snow bank".
Well I wasn't going very fast, and besides it was downhill.
We spent our time in hilarious calamities
that I created. Where did you go?
At lunch, I suggested you finish your water.
We don't know which way's North.
In that dreamworld maps were going to be the solution, handed a
bleached vision, to know left and right, but not to know North,
where the wind comes at strange angles,
can eliminate your toes, the light from your eyes,
our wind, from the North took towns off the map,
calves in the dead of winter, and water from the
eyes of men. It came from the North, but
we don't know where that is.
I follow a train of hearts, small red things in the snow of sea white
a rabbit track passes between them,
dreams, cast loose by the wind,
stories freezing to death, untold.
We just don't know which way's North.
In rock and roll songs they talk about Chantilly lace and amazing grace
and stars from the southern cross,
we could crash into continents, suddenly Australia would rise up through
the fog and we'd crash right into it. Everything would fly forward then
rock back, doors flew open, eggs hit the floor, somebody shouts out. It ain't
India," and we'd file down the ropes, wade ashore through
the birth canal, a new continent, we're starting over, goodbye little
I was stuck by the light immediately. The slant as it hit the
hill, up there at the back, during Autumn. It made the orange leaves
electric, pulsed through my eye, to my solar regions.
I became partial to fire.
I searched with the warmth of the sun on my back.
So, it was mapping, it began with step-dancing. A jig on the bricks
by the fireplace,
how far to the forest
how far from the damning ruts of previous encounters,
how new all the information,
how crisp the ever-emerging.
And there, on National Geographic maps, hidden under the books on
Science, the how-to books, we were looking for the how-far books,
and now we don't know which way's North.
There was a great deal of difficulty tying the shoe laces,
both at the beginning and at the end.