Wednesday, April 16, 2003

DRAGOMAN

DRAGOMAN

what is faith writing me. spell it. fate. change it. furies. spare change for what future? what guide? what targumanu (from the Akkadian). I am remodeling my vocabularium to fit the need. what dreams are. Miranda’s island of cannibals. what brave new... we are busily writing into verb. into clay. what is writing me? writing it? the eye of fate? or the hand?

but the cat howling on the doorstep has faith that someone will come. starved for love. at the Richmond refineries: desert oil love. Vito interprets. the cat. only when I have people over. He doesn’t love me. is at war with a cat. what’s cat faith? pet, scratch, lap, fluff the kibble. oh, to sit in a window facing west, late afternoon. foghorn moans. cat tries every door, then all the screens. luck finds an open window. on the screen, he hangs a crucifixion of paw and fur. let you in from the night. let us in.

strange cat at the doorstep
politicking for love
foghorn moans in the distance


yellow hostages on legal paper, hold hostage the words. they can’t come unbidden. I was too busy pulling the energy up from my feet. out the head. a garden of tube worms beneath the Sea of Oman. call it meditation. call it visual blockage at the heart.. but not the head. a blue thread attached to the sky, dragonfly blue, mid-summer, make it Desolation Wilderness. what current man on what horizon? we are defined by. names of the past resurrected from memory. a blur of faces kissing my. but others came. call it faith. no time for coffins. handwriting on the wall.

Lent. who asks what did you give up? what holds the heart hostage? yellow paper & the black night of words leaking in. soldiers dying in what wheat field, what scarlet poppies dropping petals in the wind? in the name of. faith is a hostage, the sun in bondage from the night, from mortar shell. evil eye. all the blue of. and ramadan nights. the same river twice. I didn’t know I loved

yellow ribbons round sweet magnolias. the civil war. frankly...

Herodotus’ perfumed country. myrrh, frankincense. fires burn in front of the sandstorm, scattered they lay...the people lay in heaps ((2000 BC). what is caught between two rivers like a doe in the headlights, stepping over the slender shadows of her legs. like obverse sunbeams. we have crossed the Euphrates, we have crossed the Tigris. what will we have to do in order to bring ourselves home? what about them? what ransom on the skull of the world? I am clinging to the names of rivers, Hiddekal, al-Furat, Shatt al-Arab, Khazer, Diyala, the Zeb al-Khyber. . and the wadis.

Khyber Pass. skip the war bits & it’s a short read. get to the part where they go through the mountain. skip the war on prime time, on every channel, we’re all in bondage. we’re good at guilt. fast forward prisoners of lost trust. we look away from. don’t want to see. fruits of tradition: war and civilization. pause. winged bulls. the call of the muezzin. equinox, sandstorms have taken the sun hostage. firewells turn the sand into green glass. they found oil jugs of the crusaders.

clay tablets. abstract symbols opened the door to history. we learn the names of cities as old as civilization. where are the hanging gardens? a shift of fortune, the Euphrates banks. Solomon’s messenger bird. what about Mecca? 25,000 archaeological sites, less than 10% have been excavated. but the reign of war ended that legacy. Sargon’s bow unleashed the missile age. battalions seek heights, ziggurats. in a moonless city flashes of light the garden. you could hear the debris wheeze in the sky like lawnmower blades. we have taken Baghdad, but no matter how far we advance, we can’t seem to find the heart of the citadel. freedom is untidy. behind the seventh fiscal veil, odor of bitter chordite. professionals looting the treasures of Baghdad. as we learn new words. what dragomen interpret the new century. the looting has begun. yesterday was year zero for Iraq. they have burned the National Library. all the books. what does the handwriting on the wall say now?


4/16/03 

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