Dancing

Insistent whispers from distant places,
tease & menace;

the hold is held*,
coils then melds, melts & is gone forever.

Solid & insubstantial, all objects
whole & partial
resist or yield,
or stubbornly reveal futility

to be both the cause & death of meaning:

every answer
a more graceful dancer than the question;

                            never ending
tension between existence & being.

It slips away,
                            eternally
within the reach,
of a grip that cannot keep what it holds:

grains of sand in the hands of a creature

who doesn't understand
either…

*Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Multitudes stand in my mind*

Behind the eyes,
                where multitudes abide,
a mind decides to obey strange instructions:

                thoughts
bloom like fruit & fall, one
by one;
                    some
return to the earth & become new life
while others, for reasons unknown,
decay slowly
& grow into nothing but waste;

warped
        their shape & sound contort
as they fall
onto a dark forest floor &
        grow thorns:

will beauty persist
when feelings no longer exist?

If I say you have misunderstood me
will you say you know what I mean?

& why write a poem

                    no one will read?

*Credo – Robinson Jeffers

The Gaze

“That which is light looks at me,
and by means of that light in the depths of my eye,
something is painted.”
– Jacques Lacan

The gaze contains a curse & a gift, it
turns us into an object yet
confirms that we exist.

The vision of the other can either
become a prison, a figment
of our imagination, or
the one & only means of escape:

take your pick, because either way
it's not what you think;

the light decides
between a painting or a stain,
between pleasure or pain…

everywhere & nowhere but
                always outside,
it will eat us alive
from the inside:
                a black hole
into which we sink
as comprehending apperception
& thoughts of what the others think,
twist the thread
again & again…

                …until the light fights back,
& unties the knots:

                there is not (yet)
an answer, only the fantasy of two dancers
moving slowly then faster,
both tragic & absurd,
as an audience laughs
& cries as they turn.

Here in the Light

Here in the light
that forever fights the darkness,
we exist. Incomplete
            objects;

nothing more than sentience yet
always there’s a surplus;

effervescence of neurological excess,
&
the contingent biological flesh
            deceived
by the thoughts that haunt us
&
always finding ways to evade our gaze.

We call this thing our Self.

We can never own it, never know it,
by demanding
                    or calmly asking

but we can find it,
                    sometimes,
in other eyes.