Thursday, November 24, 2011

a mother that eats its children

the old timer said there are spirits of things in the world. there is a spirit of the east. there is a spirit of the sun, who makes the spring by flapping his wings slowly across the frosty ground. there is a spirit of winter. spirits can act good or bad.

when you walk in the winter, you are walk on the insides of a spirit, its cold wind running its claws along your face is it touching you, but also extending in all directions, down away where you can't see, up in the hazy sky of afternoon cold suns, and winter has its own generations. the winter of last year is the same spirit, and its mother the autumn, the earth its father. there must be other spirits too, spirits that have only come to life in the recent past. spirits of nations, spirits of concrete, spirits of trafficlights.

i stood on the edge of the silent trail, overhung by cedars and dead branches, yellow reeds wrapped around my legs. looked across the black and gleaming water at the jutting subdivision on the far side, brand new, crawling towards the edge, silhouetted against the sundown of grey november. there is a bad spirit of suburbia, eating the land and defecating a hard row of new houses.

i got lost in a subdivision more than once. in small towns the subdivisions are even harder and deader, their spirit is strong. the sidewalkless streets have blank expressions. the people live in them in sick gratitude. they think - this is the good way to live, this is the only way. we live in a beautiful place. its hard not to suspect their hearts are rubble.

in my own opinion the environmentalists took the wrong strategy in emphasizing global warming. they did it so as to scare greedy and selfish people into behaving themselves. environmental destruction will lead to destroying the wealth of the world, so you should slow down or you too will pay.

it would have been better to tell them- you have lost your hearts. power has eaten your eyes. you can't see the living world anymore, everything you see is part of something that is controlled by humans. cities, computers, factories, ideas. long straight lines digging holes into the future, changing the earth. if you could see what you ate to make these things, you would fall on the ground and weep. if you could see the old trees that glowed in bare forests like great fat heartbeats, the spirits of the river and the country, the robin and the slow town, if you could see water, wind, trees and mud, you would have stopped. not because it would have benefitted you but because you loved the least blade of grass cutting out of the young black earth in april that you would have preferred civilization stop in its tracks. you would have lost all desire for control over the spirit of this bottomless land and fallen on your hands and knees in trembling awe and prayed for the privilege to die a bug hanging on a single leaf at dawn

of course, some assholes think that makes no sense

Friday, November 11, 2011

a dog barks and then

a dog barks on the street. woof woof woof under a full drunk moon. you are still a mystery.

when grandma died it was last year, near to now. they laid her up in one of the old people's hospitals on the edge of town. her room didn't feel like she was going to die to me, it felt like any other room in a hospital. her life had been long. she had been thinking about dying for a long time, you could hear it in her voice, even if she didn't speak of it. even though she had like eight healthy kids who all more or less went on to live good lives and even though she survived everything you could do to a person, she didn't seem particularly impressed with the world. when they told her they weren't going to treat her cancer because the cure would probably do worse damage to her vulnerable body, all she said was "so that's it, then."

so then they put her on morphine and killed her. no one said it but it is done by wise nurses and wiser families. they kept giving her morphine for the pain until she didn't move, and every time she moved they gave her morphine. they overdosed her - a mercy and still legally a crime. it all had to be done without being conscious of it, we still living under the tyranny of hysterical people i guess. so her lying there was a cemetary, i feel like there is a cemetary in me, of all the people gone.

my irish side came in and did around the clock vigil, she was barely awake for most of it, but maybe the warmth of our mortal souls needed to be there. the eldest daughter was there as if some ancestry of her body demanded it beyond all grey advancements of civilization, the green hills of ireland drove her to motherly watch over her mother and the rest of the clan. grandma was barely alive for most of it. i held her hand often in the last couple of days, as often as i could, i thought that at the end was when the most of one's heart should show, but not in melodrama but in the most humble acts. so i held her hand. i remember my cousin holding her other hand and looking across the bed and our grandmother's body at her. she was pretty torn up, but we were doing the same thing. my grandmother's hands were so soft at the end. the most softest things, i have ever touched. there was no way to tell if she could feel us, we didn't know if she wouldn't have liked that, we were kind of imposing our love on her.

in good fashion, my uncles and aunts brought neverending supplies of beer and wine and whiskey. when she was awake, we administered whiskey to her in little doses of water. we were hammered most of the time. in the night, we all sat around her bed, like savages, drunk and serene. they made my sister sing jock stewart. she was afraid to because of the words. she didn't understand that drunkeness makes for instant immunity to indignity. so she sang

my name is jock stewart,
i'm a canny gaun man
and a roving young fella i've been

so be easy and free
when you're drinking with me
i'm a man you don't meet every day

i have acres of land
i have men at command
i've always a shilling to spare


so fill up your glasses with
brandy and wine
whatever it costs i will pay


well i took out my dog
and him i did shoot
all down in the county kildare


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

the star

of course, while all this was going on the stars were out there, hanging in a big black void. i get born some years ago, and they were still up there, i learn to crawl, walk and talk. i learn to think. i hurt people and help people. they say that the distance of the earth to the sun is 150 000 000 kilometers, just a bunch of black space between.

ok, not just a bunch of black space. the black space is filled with light. how about that. but light is so weightless it might as well be nothing. its the shine. its the shine on the void.

but if i were to take off this body and step off this planet and walk immortal the 150 000 000 kilometers, i would arrive at the sun. well, i've always been wrapped up in the sun's arms. the magnetic field of the sun - it's pull, it's "come closer" extends far beyond the solar system. computers say it looks like this:

the god with it's arms wide looks like this, maybe.

but near the sun, i would walk into the corona. its just a bunch of hazy wind, hot, blind, wailing light waving like grass. get up in the morning, there is all that light hitting the apartment buildings, the strangers going to work, the effort to repeat, nothing - the sunlight hits wordless forests somewhere. the corona is gushing light, hot as hell, about 3 000 000 degrees kelvin. of course, a nuclear bomb is about 10 000 000 degrees, about three times as hot as the corona. if they set off any of the thousands of nukes lying around like apocalyptic driftwood, the earth could theoretically bleed stars. but all of that is just something you have to live with. the corona looks like this:

this is an eclipse. the sun isn't black. the sun is so bright that if you took the black disk off of this picture, it would blind you.

I can't send messages, my body is gone. i would have to ask the corona to trace words on the wall but the sun is beyond me. we have no language. i can't speak river or mountain, and they are just earth. the sun is an alien. i walk along the corona's lines and step onto the photosphere. this is the sun we see in the sky. it is cool here. only 6000 degrees kelvin. its like a big ocean on fire. its serene, red waves lapping up against my feet. dog dreams - serene. the sun with little changes makes the earth shudder with life. i cant remember the earth anymore. the sun's surface is like a big sea. prominences are bleeding out its back, curling high into the sky. the stars are gone

i walk on the surface. the earth is far.

then i dive down into the water. i swim downwards, and i guess everything is dark like in the water and glowing. im exagerrating. its more like falling through clouds. it black as night. the convective layer, the skin just underneath the skin, the sun is pushing big fountains of light to break at the surface and cooler fire is falling in big black waterfalls towards the core. if the astrophysicists made this all up it would still be the craziest and most beautiful lie ever.

but they have a pretty good idea. i swim down 200 000 kilometers, it takes me a few years, catching the falls of black fires down, see the bright fountains twisting up around me in the far distance, far away in the blackness like tornadoes on the horizon, glowing cinders in the heart of the fire, the core comes near.

you can't see. not even with these eyes. the core is about 15 000 000 degrees kelvin. i can't swim any further, its a perfect solid landscape in the darkness, a darkness made by too much light. molecules are crushing together, you can feel them trembling. the emptiness that makes an atom is shrinking, here is the heart of life, life - the things between the void. the little squeaks of light in a sleeping blackness, here they are squeezed together, and what do they do? hydrogen becomes helium, helium becomes carbon. things are being born. a thousand earths of little tiny things being born. all the time