PASTORAL by William Carlos Williams

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                      PASTORAL

                The little sparrows
                hop ingenuously
                about the pavement
                quarreling
                with sharp voices
                over those things
                that interest them.
                But we who are wiser
                shut ourselves in
                on either hand
                and no one knows
                whether we think good
                or evil.
                      Meanwhile,
                the old man who goes about
                gathering dog-lime
                walks in the gutter
                without looking up
                as his tread
                is more majestic than
                that of the Episcopal minister
                approaching the pulpit
                of a Sunday.
                      These things
                astonish me beyond words.

 

from ‘Al Que Quiere’, 1917

it was these ‘pastorals’ that made me notice: there is a way out of societal precursoring, there is a way to see other than through those bi-focal lenses; and there is a way to see that doesn’t involve a revolution, that doesn’t involve the dismantling of what is there at all, but the love and heart to accept what is really there – clean, audial and postural – once the glasses have been taken off; it takes courage, of course, because in doing so you have to dismantle all the constructs which you had thought to be your identity, and even soul – this is why you need love, in order to handle the searing wisdom you will receive, there’s no place for ‘what about me’ (in fact, WCW, in just the previous poem in the Collected (‘Apology’) talked about how it is the faces that make him write, that oblige him to see); the everything about the anything that is ever more true than any myopic and partisan specificity

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

identity wormhole: anxiety
sound & voices wormhole: transferring
sparrows wormhole: somewhere
Sunday wormhole: buttercups
thinking wormhole: it’s all about…;
walking & William Carolos Williams wormhole: PASTORAL by William Carlos Williams

 

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anxiety

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                there is always so much more
                to anything to everything than
                meets the sclerotic I and that

                is always precisely nothing less
                than I can never see despite the
                thousand drops that plop and

                lose their secret identities and
                ripple endlessly throughout
                the turbid panorama in which

                they should really take their
                identity could they ever let go
                what they ever grasped and

                never really grasped amid
                their tumbling and freefall
anxiety

 

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

anxiety wormhole: the sitting room
emptiness wormhole: glancing up from the text / searching for ground …
identity wormhole: PASTORAL by William Carlos Williams
letting go wormhole: letting them go
life wormhole: so / do I keep on writing now I’ve retired, or … / Rumplestiltskin
seeing wormhole: it’s all about…;

 

PASTORAL by William Carlos Williams

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                                PASTORAL

                When I was younger
                it was plain to me
                I must make something of myself.
                Older now
                I walk back streets
                admiring the houses
                of the very poor:
                roof out of line with sides
                the yeards cluttered
                with old chicken wire, ashes,
                furniture gone wrong;
                the fences and outhouses
                built of barrel-staves
                and parts of boxes, all,
                if I am fortunate,
                smeared a bluish green
                that properly weathered
                pleases me best
                of all colors.

                            No one
                will believe this
                of vast import to the nation.

 

from Al Que Quiere!, 1917

and he’s right, of course: the ‘import’ of the nation can only progress when it doesn’t have to concern itself with the right and wrong of wealth distribution – but you can’t have progress without competition, otherwise we all just stay where we are; but honouring competition as inviolable is honouring that which is our basest common denominator, surely inequality is less than we could achieve – to try to rise above the process of evolution, the survival of the fittest, is, rather, to surrender to hubris and daydream which doesn’t put bread on the table; but – however; eventually – man up … but to look, and take in, with love and, without scheme, all behind the, dappling cacophany, with which we, mark our height, where we can breathe, without implication, or compromise, free as a glance, single as an ethic, and twice as, selfless

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

blue wormhole: transferring
breathing wormhole: the turtle and the yoke
compromise wormhole: and ‘naerrgh’ a mention of a seagull’s call
green & identity & time & walking wormhole: fifty-eight // and silent prayers
looking wormhole: perspective
love wormhole: all // are // none
rooftops wormhole: glancing up from the text / searching for ground …
society & streets wormhole: both modern and en-slaved / to life
William Carlos Williams wormhole: and that’s where I are

 

be aware; be very aware … a brou ha-ha-ha

one bevelling-up consequence of having retired from work and brave-facing my next stage in life, is that I am gradually shedding a lot of things I had clung to while I was working hoping that, someday, I’d do proud by them, holding them up and saying ‘see, I was right!’ … and I am right about them – about a lot of things, if I but knew it – but I don’t need to hold them up any more than I need to hang a hat in the sky on a windy day;

I’m shedding a lot of books and comics and music and DVDs which I have held on to, sometimes, for decades, but no longer feel I need to: and I haven’t regretted any of it; it was, and still is, valuable, but I don’t need to hold onto it anymore for it all to be valuable, as vindication; I’m recycling my valuable things and growing satisfied by the day

… sooo: poetry books; I’ve always had far more than my actual appreciation could cope with – I’ve found it discomforting that I don’t like all, or even most of, the poems of a poet that I like, so I’ve kep their collecteds so that one day I’ll really get down to cracking the cipher … nooo, Mark; no; so, here’s what I’m a gonna do –

as I was browsing through William Carlos William’s Collected last night (with nothing on my mind but my right of way – come on, come on), it occurred to me that I only like the poems that I like of his stuff, I don’t need the whole manuscript; so I’m going to blog the ones I like here – sprinkled with a little bit of appreciation and gratitude – and then let them go – a whole new branch of recycling; and when I’m done with Old Bull, I’ll put Sylvia through the Plath, and the Mersey Beats through the grate and I’ll waggle old Allen about from the highest rooftop; I might even do the haiku if I can pin them down long enough

… just to let you know

all // are // none

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                                all

                that Enlightened beings do
                is be, but without
                flinch, reach or

                conjuration; a wave-
                length with neither
                start nor end which

                tunes the few to their
                own true nature
                with neither start

                nor end, the basis
                both from and to
                which they might

                both journey and
                arrive; external light
                that caps the peaks

                of mountainous
                night lost in waft
                and billow;

                                are

                they on the edge of
                everything gargantuan
                and frightening in all

                their detailed beneficence,
                are they everything that
                gives me the nod and

                wink waiting for me
                to get it, are they in
                amongst us suffering

                the arrows that we
                sling all about in outrageous
                discontent, are they

                la porte etroite or the
                desert of love, are they
                always there for us,

                are they never there;
                they are none of these,
                they are all of these

                that we make them
                to be – light neither
                emanating nor pervading

 

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

being wormhole: all the low clouds keeping pace / through the train window, / always arriving, whether fast or / slow, but never actually moving
doing wormhole: I
light wormhole: so / do I keep on writing now I’ve retired, or … / Rumplestiltskin
love wormhole: ‘oh my girls and muse …’
night wormhole: transferring
samsara wormhole: inner / hegemony
waiting wormhole: Bexhill 140215
waves wormhole: and ‘naerrgh’ a mention of a seagull’s call

 

transferring

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                here

                are the transferring phones
                dialling over waterfalls
                voices in the curly wire

                giving soundtrack and
                commentary through
                all manner of splayed connection

                in the trees, through
                empty corridors – the transformer
                must be off, or something:

                muddy waters to apricot air
                sparks grade, twist and edge teeth
                into lumber … oh, checkshirts;

                the post fence sinks to land
                and distance, there is air
                in a wide-open microphone

                there is neon under a
                dirt blue sky, through all the branches
                a cascading iconography

                of posthumour – fall flow thaw;
                at night the wind
                moves the swinging lights

 

mostly a palimpsest of season 1 from 1990 of Twin Peaks

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

air wormhole: with all love released
apricot wormhole: 1964
blue wormhole: fifty-eight // and silent prayers
branches wormhole: ash leaves
flow wormhole: Batgirl –
night wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – reaping
openness wormhole: clear as vista
sky wormhole: glancing up from the text / searching for ground …
sound wormhole: sreet
traffic lights wormhole: traffic lights and broad avenue
trees & wood wormhole: … the underleaves show
voices wormhole: the turtle and the yoke
water wormhole: sharpened apex
wind wormhole: lost the search

 

fifty-eight // and silent prayers

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                                fifty-eight times now

                wandering dopey through another landscape

                                (walking) up into the hills
                                to find the golden sun –
                                sheet-metal through
                                flanks of cloud

                                the snaking A-road
                                sunk and cascaded
                                in 1979, petrified cross-
                                sections there to study

                                never travelling far
                                but up in giant gulp-steps
                                heart beats in the back
                                of the neck and down

                                through the knees
                                with the rising pass

                I stand now at fifty eight with clipped and

                                silvering hair with
                                check and green-blue
                                shirt and silent prayers
                                rippling to all directions

 

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

birthday wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – … as the new town marches in
blue wormhole: I
Cadtleton wormhole: walk from Castleton to Hope
clouds & hills wormhole: mauve
gold wormhole: so / do I keep on writing now I’ve retired, or … / Rumplestiltskin
green & walking wormhole: abandoned sound mirrors
hair & sun wormhole: ash leaves
identity wormhole: both modern and en-slaved / to life
lifetimes wormhole: oh, alright then
silence wormhole: where did the silence go
silver wormhole: Coleton Fishacre
time wormhole: sreet
travelling wormhole: breakfast

 

glancing up from the text / searching for ground …

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                glancing up from the text
                searching for ground ah,

                look at you and your little
                fat body standing side-on

                and vertical to the world
                with six legs pointy into

                space quite despite the two
                slightly divergent phone lines

                stretching quietly above
                the rooflines and before the

                wide grey sky in which is
                camouflaged … everything

 

chapter 9 of the Bodhisattvacharyavatara is both a simple and necessarily complicated teaching about the nature of reality: the simple bit is understanding that nothing exists as it appears; the complicated bits are what to do with this understanding at every turn of attention

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

emptiness wormhole: skeins of candy pink and lilac
grey wormhole: … the underleaves show
quiet wormhole: oh, alright then
rooftops wormhole: cool / tiled flooring
sky wormhole: sreet
space wormhole: sharpened apex
study wormhole: two profiles
windows wormhole: ash leaves
world wormhole: letting them go

 

so / do I keep on writing now I’ve retired, or … / Rumplestiltskin

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                                                                so
                do I keep on writing now I’ve retired, or …
                                Rumplestiltskin

                                                oh,
                                I have a mind and
                                                oh,
                I can weave gold from any old fibre

                whether you give me your life or not – never
                                a consummation to be made,
                                                never a consummation to be had

                                but
                they have some charm
                                and they have some light
                                                to decipher

                                                makes them sparkle if I twinkle the words finely enough
                                between the gaps
                fingers working like grasshoppers

 

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

gold wormhole: mauve
Have & life wormhole: both modern and en-slaved / to life
light wormhole: chuckling
mind wormhole: all the low clouds keeping pace / through the train window, / always arriving, whether fast or / slow, but never actually moving
retirement & talking to myself & writing wormhole: letting them go
words wormhole: turned backs of saddened victory

 

both modern and en-slaved / to life

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                beggars placed disfigured
                either side of a pavement

                wept to the wall or knelt
                at the paviour; snatched up

                from somewhere the plastic
                cuts shut, (there

                to shame a thousand
                passing pardons each to weave

                themselves reassured
                with bonhomie on the next

                street corner, or sometimes maybe
                to ladder a little

                to give) exploited
                to within a width of their life

                making bruised a market
                of the will to Have

                both modern and en-slaved
                to life

 

there is a distinct type of beggar on the streets of Rome which I have not witnessed anywhere else in Europe (and only heard about in India); the legend among Romans is that injured and displaced people are rounded up from poorer areas in eastern Europe, promised medical care (which often leaves them disfigured – all the better to inspire sympathy) and shelter, and kept in very basic conditions on the outskirts of large cities in Italy and taxied in every day to earn their living; there are gangs of people who exploit these beggars in this way – modern slavery

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

giving wormhole: skeins of candy pink and lilac
Have & society wormhole: amniotic avenue
identity & walls wormhole: I
life wormhole: letting them go
streets wormhole: breakfast