Sunday, September 18, 2011

It Is All A Performance...

—Marvin Bell

A ladder propped against a rainbow:
We were told that life waited to exist;
death waited to be that which was and isn't.
Language, of and by the living, cannot express
our absence, but readies itself in stitches,
erasures, the dead skin adhering to a bandage,
untellings, retellings, revisions, reversions,
the resonant vacancy of interlude,
the qua of music, the held air in the audience
just prior to coughing, the lost vacuum
of a black hole, the nuclei of tears—
it is all a performance, from the tie-down of a bonsai
to the reddening of apples,
from the talk of Absurd Phenomenology
to the passionate kiss,
from angels on the head of a pin to quantum physics,
from the conceptual to the pre-conceptual,
from the environmentalist to the survivalist,
from the garden to the slaughterhouse.
Listen for an introduction to Creation:
a horn sounds in the background,
increases, at first each frequency of the whole
seems like the plucking of a single hair,
but the fog, which does not lift, filters alarm
from the tighter strings, so that we hear a fatherly,
throaty, fibrous drone. And in
the harbors of dust, this trembling of sound waves
begins our story. From the lightest touch,
imprinted in the slightest disturbance,
a history commences that will lead to thunder and roses,
to the beginning of each kiss and to the end of each kiss,
to each particular in a long line of particulars,
every one with its special claim
except when one may stand, as now, for innumerable others,
stranded perhaps past anything we can imagine
unless it is to be a stone thrown into the dark,
the inside of a sound,
tomorrow a ladder propped against a rainbow.