a candle in my ear burned down to ash. wake up. eyelashes caked with ash. head thick with smoke. obscure.
fig. 6: astrolabe/the stairs
(the phoenix leaves flaming notes on my pillow. Click to read the last billet doux…)
there are no words left.
it doesn’t matter what you say.
it matters what you do.
what will you do?
As I mentioned in my last post, the birds think I should hang out on the sea shore this summer. To distract them from this discomforting vein of conversation, I indulge their penchant for FASHION.
The birds like trying on hats.
Black Swan likes hats more than anybody. Black Swan would like me to do a whole series of portraits entitled “CROWNING THE INEFFABLE: Hats O EPHEMERAL GARNISHING Across the Centuries as CLASSICALLY DISPLAYED Upon the TIMELESS HEAD of the Rare BLACK SWAN.”
I refused and made him share a portrait with Hawk:
Hawk was deeply moved by the metaphysics of the plumed, dove-white hat, bound as it is by a ribbon of blue sky. I don’t really understand Hawk’s line of thinking; it has something to do with avian creation myths.
Starlings swarm beneath a veil as if it were mist over the autumn brocade of the marsh grasses:
Crow-as-parrot with a parrot in a hat so naïve, I think it is surreal:
The phoenix thinks this hat is bad-ass, especially with a ruched tunic:
I put on a hat, too. The birds suddenly silenced themselves; their heads cocked to eye my every move with beady-black intensity.
They thought I might be going outside:
WHERE ARE YOU GOING!! squawked Parrot-that-was-crow.
I could go outside. If I knew where to go.
Why does the phoenix want to garb me in fire? Another pile of ash on my pillow. Phoenix fiery billet-doux. “Things unintelligible, yet understood.”
do you know what but not how?
you will lose the path
in the fog of your emotions.
do not regret the past.
you are the mud in which a stone is sunk.
clear your mind.
pick up the stone.
wetness skeins it like marble, smooth sculpted on
where did you find this artifact?
what you call your life
is how you avoid living.
living–the outrageous adoration, absurd affirmation
of is’ness amidst all-vanish-es.
throw the stone of your heart
into the fire.
it might be an egg or a seed
that must be scorched
before it will hatch.
Wake up. The phoenix staked another billet-doux through my pillow with a splinter of arrowwood.
It is on fire.
Fizzling like a sparkler.
Billets hard to hold through waking. They sizzle at the edge of dream. Wake up. They burn themselves out. Pillow ash brings intense, peripheral feelings, mis-sequenced, uncertain, numinous.
(click to read the first billet-doux)
BURNING DOOR. IN AND OUT AND IN
LET US BE WITH EACH OTHER
THE DAYS COUNT THEM]S[?]
IT IS NICE TO BURN
INTOXICATING THE LIGHT
I first asked this question in my post on fashion.
( Phoenix: no fear of darkness. darkness/fathoms/fire. journey/easy. it circles/home. ODALISQUE ODALISQUE ODALISQUE/you’re afraid of fire. I bring a light/a match/and strike it. FORGET MYSELF AND WATCH YOU. COLLAPSE/LIKE WAX/COLLAPSES. AROUND AN INTERIOR FLAME.)
I do not fear the terrible angels
their voices embroidered cloaks torn across
the sky, their heavily belted bodies,
strong hips, shield-bright eyes.
I do not fear them in the hard city.
Their draperies snag on its remote spires.
They drone in its unnavigable sky
The angels I fear are mute
their wings waxy as aster petals
their bodies translucent carapace
curled grub-like in flight.
They don’t descend to the deathbed
swords drawn to the rift: death from life.
They hatch, insensate as seeds in
fresh turned earth.