Electricity at Home
Photo Enhancement by D.R. Wagner
I am beyond the base camp this evening. I have travelled alone to be here
and yet I choose to write about this to be with others. Only then will I
be able to give purchase to these dulcet, idle days on the cusp of Summer.
Extraordinary clouds constantly reinventing themselves, the true writing of
water we can barely read in our torpor bred of ego. “Excuse me, can you
speak wind?" Can anyone here speak wind?
I suppose this is a lot like all that stuff you’ve read about the moon
before, how it goes away and then comes back looking different every night?
How it goes away for a few days, comes back and is a new moon? Well it’s
not. I was just out walking in that pale light and it was totally
different but essentially the same. It took thousands and thousands, maybe
millions of years to make that moon.
Oh I placed my hands on your body, the moon was there, a wreath of petals
awaking for the silk mist of our breathing. See how it is not new? I’ll
waken you as soon as I am able. It has been a long time not to be noticed.
Oh cover of the night, the hand of darkness that passes out of me, to
where do we go, where do we crawl after this kind of beauty?
Yes it has a look about it. Yes, it is very much of the heart. This is
why it has been penetrated time and time again. It is impossible to stay
there. We speak of our love for one another. A golden music comes from
our bodies, so vast, being on these seas all night. Ah the moon, the moon.
Here is the kingdom. Godspeed should we ever be delayed.
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
Not here. Like fish in a plastic bag
On the floor of a subway car with no
One in the car and something pink, always
Something pink, dangling over it, reminding
Anxiety that it has a job and a heart.
There is no room for those photos of blue
Birds or cameras. It is pointless. We fall.
That’s the entire story. The Gestalt tells
The story better than I can. A hand
Gripping a cube, an architecture made
Along the road while walking, so things
Won’t move too fast, be too brilliant.
Like Sitwell, silence is my hobby. We can’t
Stand around here thinking this is some
Great city. I’m going to find you tied to
A bed, breasts bound, a smile on your face,
A jelly fish covering the entire scene as if
Floating were an answer to all our questions.
Come with me now. I will speak in Italian,
Pretend you realize that all that has been
Said so far is only a prelude to what we
Would like the future to be. Footwear
People dream about, plays of light
Along the edge of the stage.
We are not going to be able to see
The next part of this whole thing
Very well. A couple of silhouettes
Working full time on your walls so you
Won’t have to dream. Tropical dreams
Will begin to infect just about everything.
I will tell you your name and you will
Believe me even if you have never heard
It before. The doors of drugstores will
Be left unlocked so you can find what
You need without cost. There won’t be
Any parts you will not understand.
If you do not understand it will not
Be the next part. Kindness will have
The name of someone you love very much.
No one has used this road since
The end of World War II when
Rain came down for eight days
Drowning the wood, abandoning
Even the golden voices of the animals
That once lived here.
It wasn’t that it was dark,
Thoughts could easily become more dense
Than the crippled light that insisted
On being there despite having been foreclosed
And locked with thorns that seemed
Sharper than memory when unfolded.
But we came here anyway, if only
To be troubled by the fact that the road
Refused to go away or stop leading
To anywhere; a cut where, looking ahead
One could see the trees break and an open
Meadow lean ahead all the way to the lake
Shore. In the summer there were fireflies
That received the place like a memory.
Summer is gone, the war is gone
And we, for want of learning something special,
Something to place at the service of trying
To understand all the histories all over again,
Cause us to falter a bit and look
Cautiously about us to see if we can
Explain anything about this loss or the place
Itself that might leave us feeling
Intrusive about our need to be here.
The placid shadows, the mothers calling
Their sons home to dinner across the fields.
Just beyond here there isn’t much
Water at all. It is a desert but we don’t
Think of it as such. It is
Just a place we don’t visit often, no
One we know very well lives there.
South of that there are mountains.
They have a lovely blue-green hue to
Them in the mornings sometimes and when
It rains they seem to float just off the ground,
Catch clouds in their shadows and glow evenings.
You can travel toward the lake for hours
Without seeing a thing but the greens
Will give it away. The greens and the way
The air replaces everything we were worried about.
It is like magic I guess. What do you know of magic?
I am going to point to the place we will try
To attain before this evening comes upon us.
You will know the place. You’ve been there
Before. Just before you get there children
Will line the sides of the roads with flowers
In their arms and toss them to you. You will
Know this and still be surprised that it happens.
I’m going to try to get there myself before
Any more news reaches us, so we can see
What is happening rather than just hear about it.
Let’s plan to meet where the highway bends
Back toward the village. I’ll wait for you if
You discover you are having a hard time
With all the directions or are having car trouble.
TRAILS OF VIRGA
They never reach the ground.
We can see them riding the wind,
Tails streaming out behind them.
We will never know their destination.
Sometimes we just float on the tides.
We look up at the clouds but they
Are busy. Most of the sound is gone.
There wasn’t enough to go around,
Now it’s gone or only a ghost. The
Blindness is only temporary. It will pass.
We begin to open the packages. There
Is fire in them. We feel we see friends
In the flames, faces and gestures we
Had forgotten. Whatever the sea is doing
Is making us look harder and harder
At its breathing, at its waves, so much
Like the clothing we wore during the cold,
How hard it was to move. We would use
Our hands to talk to one another. That might
Have been a clue. Yes it might have been.
They show us where the lightning is kept,
Tell us we can use it if we have the need.
We do not understand what they are talking about.
We didn’t even ask to come here. We will
Never reach the earth this way. Too much
Ice. Too much sun. Too much of this dancing
We must do to even move a few miles.
There will be consequences for what we have
Done here. Trails of Virga will follow us down,
As close as they can get. I’ll not remember you
By the time the sun is just opposite where we
Are now. There will be a rainbow. This is how
You will know it was us. Sorry we couldn’t wait
Any longer. We didn’t have ourselves in order.
Light was just coming up
As we began the dance
For fire and water together.
From this dance steam would
Rise to the heavens, as dancers
Came together, propelled by our ritual.
First, the songs began to rise,
A verse about angel’s wings,
A chorus declaring our love
For the mountains, the far
Distances, for the stilling of noises
Held by night, for the lament dealt
By those who carry time
Within their quiet appearances
Throughout their lives.
Such songs they were.
As the steam rose higher,
We knew this place, this world
Would persist past our shallow
Moments here. This was the truth.
It is because of this dance
That one is able to remember
Childhood, that all who dwell
Upon this earth can come and see
Time as it mixes everything into
This selfsame dance.
It is danced very seldom,
For all who witnessed its
Previous incarnation must
Have passed from life before it
Could be repeated. It is
Performed with great ceremony,
The dancers consuming doubt,
Uncertainty and great fears
That all might recall this particular
Time of life. Shadows and mist.
Shadows and mist, the steps
We learn to take, the lips we
Dare to kiss. Through the fire,
Through the rain, though all
Becomes the past, we beg of grace,
Insist, that we may remember this.
Photo Enhancement by D.R. Wagner
The lost child, crying, crying
but still catching fireflies.