If a tree is cut down and paper or pencil made, and I then write with them?
If you were a tree
would you be my pencil?
my blank page?
my unblank page?
If you were a tree would you be the page preserved in an archive, its climate controlled with combustion, the burning of ferny compression we call fossil fuels?
Would you be my paper, my pencil, preserved?
A tree would prefer I crumple this page, throw pencil away.
Better yet, would I please bury both in dirt?
When I fall something shoot its pale cusp from the trunk that was me.
Come back wild moment from far before
I took up my sword call it pencil say paper or page.
Killing impulse, I took up pencil and page.
I ruined everything.
Each time I publish a scrapbook page, I feel I toss it from my high window. Its conceptual origami catches an earthly wind. I watch it disappear, blown far from my obelisk’s shore into a virtual populace. Over a frantic boulevard it floats, settling on a concrete median beneath a floriferous tree, there on the packed dirt amongst chicken bones, leaves, plastic cups. How is it it you reached down to pick it up? How is it, amongst fumes, glare, pedestrians in tight pants, honking horns (so many dangerous vehicles) you even noticed my scrapbook page?
If my scrapbook page pleases you, orange stars and plus signs shower my desktop (like like like), confetti tossed in friendly appreciation from you, out in that fleet & fleeting world.
I am grateful for your appreciation.
One year ago today I flung my first scrapbook page out into the world–a piece of notebook paper with some scribbled words (read it here.) I’ve found an earlier piece of notebook paper, excavated and illustrated it with figures about the complex concept “enough.” I’ll publish these figures + torn text one-at-a-time this week.
To start, I give you a graph, and a definition, of the word “enough”:
Is it enough? I think so. I think you are. Enough.
Thank you for looking. Thank you.
When cicadas hum and green things spoil themselves for autumn,
let’s go to the kitchen and stand contemplatively in the light of the refrigerator door.
Let’s grab leaves and roots and pulpy ovaries, throw them on the counter and make choices.
Let’s use sharp knives and pull with our fingers.
Let’s put things in pots and boil them.
Let’s stir and sizzle and poke until they’re done.
When they are, bring out the earthenware and a bottle of something intoxicating!
Let the night burn like sugar!
Let the days be warm and crisp as a salad!
Let us be bountiful with each other and sharp.
Let us labor and be well fed. ( oh
it’s nice to smell oil burning
to cut into gourds and hearts
to come inside when the sun gets all teary-eyed
and sit close in the last bit of warmth.)
2. Take a lover.
!!THIS IS NOT ALLOWED!!
3. Obscure all outlets of communication.
4. Exhaust yourself with a task that is never completed.
5. Exhaust yourself by uncompleting your completion of a task.
7. Imagine the seeds in the earth.
If it is summer, and it has rained, imagine the seeds need to be scarified by cold, thus cannot sprout.
If it is winter, know it is not spring.
If it is spring, imagine it is unnaturally dry. Imagine the prescience of a seed that knows it is not yet time.
Panic. Swift flight from time, the static time, which you must spend waiting. For? If you are longing for a man (that man) do not think of death, of your body languishing, a flower with no fruit. You do not want to bear children but to be held full in the grip of a man, as he might take a fruit, whole in his mouth. What ripeness before rotting and how many men wait
with just the right curve o’ their lips, strength o’ their hands, for grasping, for lifting to their lips therefore to turn o’er upon the tongue?
(Snakes converge like sperm from all directions to the black stone, warm from a whole day’s sun, beneath which they nest.)
–find that waiting is only for death, all said and done, and that your most fertile preparation is for the moment of no personage when you fall without ceasing to stillness (not conscious of any distinction between the two) into a darkness that might be like earth or like outer-space, or the consciousness that there is no difference between them. How does a bird distinguish earth from sky? The earth offers roost and sustenance, the sky is ascent, never ascended. Between them, the space it travels through.
But you are not a bird. You are waiting. You are turning yourself over like earth, in preparation.
Lovers! Do not fling your carefully embroidered coat beneath the feet of your beloved! His beauty is appallingly evident but
you’ve pretty plumage, too. Keep the coat. There is a field littered with the stones that struck the sky’s tarnished mirror. The cracks in its mirror are trees. When you walk that field, wrap your coat close. It will startle the landscape with a mis-stroke of color. Tenderly, tenderly it will open (like an undergarment) for whomever watches, waits (tending what sure fire?) for you to come home.
I will write no more of love.
Is anyone ever satisfied?
A Japanese poet, maybe.
When her lover (a jade bead
slipping along a silk cord
which is a path
white with almond blossoms
My garments do not tie closed.
The stairs to my room are
dirty and who ever mounts them?