Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday, March 4, 2011

Interrogation in Ice and Silver

This is a poem Todd Jackson wrote: (test post)

Interrogation in Ice and Silver

Best read over champagne.


Not Delphi, that survives,
Where again, furtively, wild flowers are laid on white stones,
But here, round the spaceward face of Earth.
Night is drawn across, but the Sun is dug into the rock
And the city pavement is humming.

The Moon light is fitted tight upon the Moon disc.
There we have set down track,
Where Hekate gathers her daimones, who make no track.
We have stood atop the clean white mountains,
Reviewed the winding of world about world. There,
There is not city. Only the marks, from the men's boots,
Spread random into the fines. They are not yet script.

Here, Las Vegas,
The city is lights sprinkled across the desert floor.
I stand at angle to the Earth,
Review the winding of world about world.
The black robe has swallowed the mountains.

Left awake the sweep of her hem, the glittering in the dust,
Left to her daughter's care.
I have sifted quarters out black soot made soil
From the burnings.
Two palmsful of the silver discs, bent and twisted, un stamped.

A wind-whorl now, cupped in my ear,
The whistling, and then the voice within the whistling:

Be alert, as the serpent that has heard the bow snap.
You will perceive the Sun God's hand upon the Moon,
You will refine the Sun shine upon the Moon from within the Moonlight.
Then the voice in the whistling is vanished in the whistling

Time has come. Around the world,
Eos' whole palm now is flat upon the white marble.
Apollon has cracked the horizon line.

Here dark is shattered by candlelight.
Speak, put flame to the leaves,
Speak, set the Hymn airborne,
Sit, alert,
As she has whispered.
I am still. Alert, my curved back-bone straight,
And peeled, this body, to precede the bodies.

Moon concave Mojave.
Desert facing desert across the black channel that is choked with light.
The Moon pulls under the desert floor, to the hollows that once were packed with silver.
There we dug the silver out the ground. Here we sucked the water.

We take up the silver and we churn it into lights.
We are here because the old place got old, and we didn't.
There are not lights in your city as in my city.

We have the lights. Bring silver.
We have the silver. Send water.
So lives the city.

I cut ground.
Wet crust at a shopping center site
Hacked a trough diagonal across a lane
Then set to break the trough deep for the pipe.
One pipe for the lights, and one for the water.
I was sore that night.
So lives the city.
The concrete shell is open to the wind.

Here we have willed the city.
We will the city in the churning of the lights.
Some times the Earth dreams of all our dying.
She waits,
She who will take the cities down,
But not my city.

I get four feet.
I watch the Sun shine down the crack I dug.
Here is the last place left for cities.
There is no mercy in this crust for the pick.

A mood descends. In,
Four thousand some miles, the center.
I get four feet cut before the Sun glides through the lateral.
One little nick across the thick lateral.
The Earth is hard below the lateral.
She takes down the animal. She keeps the bone.
She grinds me down at the ankle, at the knee.
Lives whisper upon the Earth,
Deflect up off, and scatter in the dust-whorl above the lateral.
She, who is real. In,
Four thousand miles, the center of the real.
Iron is crushed to juice.
The iron churns, and is still.
I circle the iron, that will break me down upon the crust.

The wind is empty across the desert, and whispers Vanity.
But now I have heard another Goddess inside the breeze, who whispers secrets,
And mine is the vainest city.

Moon concave Mojave.
Desert facing desert across the black channel that is choke ed with light.
Whereas, one-third round the Earth,
Abroad first continent and then the least of two great oceans,
Through the pinch of the dawn-splashed sea, that broke massed rock,
As, west, Sun has cracked the horizon line,
Then up the north mountains, where the God speaks cities.

The winds are electric from the black robe just swept east.
Prayers inside the air entwine with the high wind,
Conspire an airborne village overhead the north mountains.

Prayers bask in bright cool Sunlight. They shout Paean upon the mountain.
They splash his name upon the waters.

En pontôi d' eporouse demas delphini
Up, from among ripe flesh lightning through the blue wave,
Up, and upon the sea-borne men attendant the black ship,
Each man bred on still bright dolphins studded in blue frescoes, as at Knossos.
No catch like this. A God has splashed aboard, who stills men.

It is Apollon, who knows the number of the sands.
Apollon the line between the stone set, and the stone to be set.
Apollon every Sun and all Suns, frosting in the Robe's black fur, pooled in One,
He stands aboard.

We, who know the shores.
We, toward whose homeland men will whisper, Atlantis.
We listen.
I don't yet envision the life made on this mountain,
But the God chooses well, who chose us.

Another will come, from the country.
Hers, to churn Word into word inside her body
As the God speaks cities.
Ours to sit rapt, who know the shores.

Disembarked, the anchor cracked through the blue water,
Then down,
The ship held still on the water's pane.
The dolphin loll about the rope.
The Sun is in the water, and carresses them.
The dolphin swim through hoops of Sunshine that stroke their bodies.

To this spot the people will come, zigzag through the mountain.
The God will send them straight.
They will troop back down to their ships, anchored in the bay as our ship now is anchored in the bay.
The dolphin squeal forth into the water,
Sonar waves fan out broad, above Sun-shot crabs and starfish, across seafloor,
Ahead, to seek Poseidon's favor.
The dolphin squeal, that will escort the black ships sent forth to found the city,
Ripe flesh lightning through the bluewhite wave.
Apollon will speak Siracusa, whose bay will drown an empire.
He will speak Cyrene, that will breed Kallimachus,
H'oion ho t'opollonos
Speak Elea, that will breed Parmenides, and the city underground Elea,
That will be hacked out the land, and covered.
Speak Kroton and the town that will blow out off Kroton, like a bright soap bubble,
Wherein Pythagoras will slow churn the people into angels.
Speak Naxos, that will send the Sphinxes.
Speak Marseilles, whose name will slip from tongue to tongue, but remain one singing.
Speak not the city, Sparta, but the Law that will set the city,
To be held in mind, then spoken, and not writ down. Speak Messina
Sybaris, Megara Hyblaia and then Selinas, Cumae and Cadmeia, Ciris, Gela,
They will sacrifice to you, God who led them, straightaway on the sand.

Good earth, near those beaches, and good water.
Sail out very much further, and then start walking.
You can see the Earth curving down.
The Earth will curve, and close, and now I am in the last place left for cities,
Above tough dry earth getting dryer.

Full Moon.
She has snowed a powder silver down superfine upon us,
Upon the long top curve of the white wood fencing beams,
Silver superfine upon the boy who picks nuggets off the roadside.
Moon powder glows white blue white in the leaping dogs' fur.

We shall revise the center of the real.

What was near four thousand miles underfoot, reset, now not less than seven hundred feet
Overhead, and in open air.

The stars sigh. We are to people the Night.
Ice clouds await us in the Night.
One day Las Vegas will scale the shaft of light.
Then, the stone set, and the stone to be set.
Staid freedom. As I have stood.

Our children will watch the wind grind these mountains down,
One grain after another.