your fragrance down my neck
streams in beads,
through the thin curtain a birdsong
breaks the silent sky,
gently rippling the dream
that carried me through the night —
Where am I?
In you, lost inside your grace,
a seed of silence
now become the sky.
What am I?
The first utterance on your lips
when creation was yet
a mere figment of your imagination.
Why am I here?
To sing your pain and joy,
your endless glory,
and touching you be
all that I can be
in a life that fades more quickly
than lightening in the sky.
I now wake to make my cup of tea
and prepare my breakfast,
your ocean is moving inside of me,
or is it I stirring inside your ocean?
To the horror of reason
inward and outward lose distinction
and I cannot keep myself together,
cannot maintain my own skin
so I surrender and give in
to the sheer enormity of your presence.
I find myself diluted inside of you
as the hot tea breathes on my face,
as the dry fruits tease my tongue
with the want of your taste.
“For your sake poets sequester themselves,
gather images to churn the mind,
journey forth, ripening with metaphor,
and all their lives they are so alone…
And painters paint their pictures only
that the world, so transient as you made it,
can be given back to you,
to last forever.
All becomes eternal. See: In the Mona Lisa
some woman has long since ripened like wine,
and the enduring feminine is held there
through all the ages.
Those who create are like you.
They long for the eternal.
They say, Stone, be forever!
And that means: be yours.
And lovers also gather your inheritance.
They are the poets of one brief hour.
They kiss an expressionless mouth into a smile
as if creating it anew, more beautiful.
Awakening desire, they make a place
where pain can enter;
that’s how growing happens.
They bring suffering along with their laughter,
and longings that had slept and now awaken
to weep in a stranger’s arms.
They let the riddles pile up and then they die
the way animals die, without making sense of it.
But maybe in those who come after,
their green life will ripen;
it’s then that you will inherit the love
to which they gave themselves so blindly, as in a sleep.
Thus the overflow from things
pours into you.
Just as a fountain’s higher basins
spill down like strands of loosened hair
into the lowest vessel,
so streams the fullness into you,
when things and thoughts cannot contain it.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
She took her clothes off,
seated herself by the window
as the cascading moonlight
washed over her body,
then placed her fingers atop her breasts,
looked into my eyes,
and asked me to write her poetry.
My blood became ink that night
as my shivering fingertips
coursed to infinity
every nook and curve of her body,
and that night lasted
longer than I could remember,
stretched farther back
beyond my own conception,
and further than the dark tremors
of my own stony grave.
A poet is as great as is his muse. By glorifying his muse he himself is glorified. And to his muse he gives his whole life even to the point of annihilation and death.
A poet is always writing, a painter always painting, a thinker always reflecting — even when carried by life and its humbug, even in the midst of acts so unlike their silent moments of creativity. Let a poet stay a hundred years (so to speak) without writing — in the end he is not diminished; in the end he is still caught in the eternal act of writing. Poetry is his mistress, his love, and he the hungry bee drowned to death in the cruel and burning sweetness of her honey.
Into the dark we go,
in the sacred house of darkness
‘Oh darkness, whole and holy,
with your dark liquid
fill our bones,
bless us as your altar
and upon the stone of our ribs
break your sacred stone,
burn us into you
oh holy mother,
ever so cruel,
ever so merciful,
and through the grace
of your unfathomable womb
again kiss life into our souls,
hold up to us your mirror
of dark water
and let us drown in the revelation
of the fire of which we are born,
the fire that is the face of our face,
our womb, our core.
We depart now, holy mother,
but only with the promise of return,
for as the day emerges out of night
only to return again
so we shall come back to you
and bless you
for your darkness and your pain,
bless you for birthing us
again and again
and countless times unto eternity,
each time as embodiments
pulsating with the energy of love.’
If there is anything that characterises modern art it is its lack of concentration. Modern artists handle their art no longer as a way to worship and to know and to love their beloved — for this they no longer have the strength of spirit — but as a way to scatter themselves; ultimately, they hunger after their art like an addict after his fix.