Thursday, July 9, 1992

DREAM VESSELS #39: The Whole World is a Very Narrow Bridge FIRST DRAFT

DREAM VESSELS #39: The Whole World is a Very Narrow Bridge  FIRST DRAFT

     —From a collage by Marsha Connell

Sea gulls and fairy terns wheel and turn 
over the bridge and its reflection
the river, a sentient being, skin of mist,
the pale mauve at sunset.
The vessel of our ancestors, the Anasazi,
has borrowed wings and the birds all point to the unnatural nest
where an egg glows like the moon, or the earth, or the sun.
The water near the dock is restless, wanting to move on,
the birds hold formation.
Is the porcelain egg a bowl to give birth to a winged pot?
Does it dream of flying over more peaceful waters
at an undeterminate time of beginnings or endings?
Everything depends upon how you read it.
A flat plane? Horizontal or vertical?
A trinity of birds has broken past
the imprisoned sky of the winged vessel
So many bars, the bridge, the nest, the dock—all to confine us
The pot is full, round, fecund as a nine-month woman,
decorated with the symbols of life,
the Greek key, the labyrinth.
The minotaur is asleep,
the legs of gulls like small brush strokes
against their fanned tails, are they guarding their eggs
or are they opportunistic, about to descend
upon an unguarded nest for a meal?
Cannibalistic creatures.
Nature is non-moral, yet we are shocked by such notions
as if there were some significance
buried there for us to glean from.
We are only repelled by the notion
because the metaphor is too obvious,
too potent, this is why it repels us.
But birds are the messengers, they know the density of air.
Only in rare dreams do we join them, testing our wings.
I remember finding a baby bird on the garden path
of an obscenely decadent hotel, the Waikaloa,
the Disneyland for adults.
An immigrant starling too young to leave the nest
the distress calls of its mother, real enough.
I was caught between contempt
for opportunistic non-native species
who do so much damage to our crops,
but then it struck me that we too, are opportunistic immigrants
plundering the nest of something infinitely more fragile.
So many paradises succumb to corporate taming.
We are the ones responsible,
the ones who wander through massive hotel lobbies
in order to quench our unending thirst.
The egg is not in a nest, it is the illusion of a nest,
circular, familiar, the egg is suspended, perhaps rising, 
or falling down the bottomless mesh tube,
a flume, a conduit churning to the ground in arabesque formation.
We are flooding other countries with our technology.
It clings to us like opportunistic burrs
brushed off in a likely spot to colonize.
The ascension of the vessel into the sky, a resurrection.
Perhaps it rose out of the tomb too early
searching for a rushed spring,
the mesh tube, the opening to the tomb.
But it is not Christ seeking the trinity above our heads,
the pot, by nature, is female. The ascent of She,
winged into the cacophonous air, the crepuscular air.
The underworld is of our own choosing.
We invented it to appease our guilt.
I read about a curious notion that we cannot see the parallel
between the religions we were raised in
and this is why we must read the myths from other cultures.
We tend to think of our own upbringing as fact, not metaphor.
Yet here it is again and again, the metaphor
rising from the underworld
called Persephone, called Inanna, called Demeter,
called Isis, called Astarte, called Christ.
The egg must be rising because the pot is ascending,
free of the underworld at last, it metamorphoses,
or did it give birth to the egg? Completeness of evidence
and the procreative urges to further the species at any cost.
The starlings who rob the nests of others,
like the missionaries in Hawaii, governments—
each with a vested interest to further the self.
Group ego and fear of the void
that is sure to follow death and extinction.
Surely there must be more to life
than the nest, the starling thought to itself,
before it plunged to the earth, pinfeathers still sheathed.
Surely there must be more to living
than this death, this ceasing to be,
early people thought as they placed flowers on the newly dead.
Surely this is a metaphor for something else
Surely ours is the enlightened path,
each tribe proclaiming, uttering the first “I am”
but as each proclaimed their identity,
they separated from the larger whole,
thus spontaneously developing creed and dogma.
The multiple “I am’s” echoed around the world
shattering the dawn,
self-expulsion leads to the center of things,
the feeling of either being on the outside
seeking the center of the universe,
or making the center the place where you stand.
You conceived it into being.
I am, therefore I am, came long before the Cartesians.
Every revolution has its own prison
because of the nature by which it was construed—in extremes.
Action/reaction nether being the center of things.
I am/ I am not.
Thus the maws of the void open up
to swallow us whole before our time.
And so the birds wheel and turn like dancers,
or do dancers mimic the birds?
And what of the snake who listens
to the ground with its whole body?
Ear to the ground with its ribs,
listens to the dark wisdom of the earth?
Of life and death, of zygotes and blastophores.
Hot ash bonfires, cremation, and hidden fecundity.
The pot rises carrying its precious burden to the sky
so the air will know another kind of kin,
seeks union with the great unanswerable void,
and the questions that will never be answered.
This is the way of things. Monotones,
the black lip of despair, the pot speaks to the air.
I resist the notion of Ariadne but she’s there.
The mesh becomes the web, the bridge leads to the other side,
the first egg, fallopian tubes spider, reptile,
human, fish, all arise from the egg.
Symbol of Christ, the web, Peter’s net,
in ova, in the egg, unprepared.

 Summer 1992
DREAM VESSELS —from collages by Marsha Connell

DV files 40-46; 48-51 
were never transcribed from freewrite
DV files 47 & 52 empty.  Hope I have hard copy.

Wednesday, July 8, 1992


DREAM VESSELS # 38 Morning Tea

     —From a collage by Marsha Connell
A white rose transmuted above the empty cup
the act of just after breaking night’s fast
everyone dressed in the white shrouds of sleep
arise, binding the sheets to their heads, a cowl
they become winged like angels, or ghosts
see how the white rose stretches on extended wing towards the light
she is a swan song going about her business rooted in the commerce
busy-ness like bees we congregate in all the world’s places
uninhabited by  ghostly shrouds
we become monozygotes
the ouroboric serpent circling the cup is trapped in the saucer
forever destined to chase his own tail
in some places of the world peasants lay out saucers of milk for the snakes
as if they were children or cats and there is a certain catness about them
they listen to the wisdom of the earth through their ribs
in summer molt they are blind sensing the heat
as the herds of people commuting to work
the ritual of morning tea is a sacrament
the knife severs the dream world from the workaday world
there is such elegance in all that whiteness
bone china abstractions
the spine of each feather tinged with pale yellow
the blue white apparitions of the crowd, we see only the backs of their heads
they seek Mecca
the snake churns around the saucer counterclockwise
though we no longer adhere to the notion of the coriolis effect
to go counterclockwise is the notion of ascendance
we always seek the top. Clockwise we start at the azimuth and the end
only to fall from grace struggling toward the eleventh hour and the death knell
while the snake unwinds time and the notion of handedness
right and wrong dexter and sinister
the lifting of tea to the lips
the leaves of the camellia family,
neo-colonial issues arise out of this whiteness that suggests purity, or even death
the art of tea, the humbling of self and the offering of self as action, as gift
the distillation of the ancient regime of Zen Buddhism in the act of tea
but we are finished with such notions
the symbol of the snake is repeated in the abstract patterns of the cup
its body, a shoreline, rippling waves in the cosmic void
as it searches out its own tail
when the snake lets go, it is said, is when catastrophe strikes
the snake cannot find the end of himself and so he endlessly circles
the cup of morning
seeking to heal the breech but we have lost the earthly wisdom of snakes
they’ve been banished from the garden (sub rosa) concealment
that is why everyone is facing Mecca in search of the garden of the psyche
but the cup is half-empty and half-full, we cannot see the bottom of it
no need to find a gypsy to read the fortune in the tea leaves
the approaching end is self-evident
Gaia’s final concert of silence amid the ghostly rustle of sheets
inhabitants of an earlier time when the earth was new
we creatures have outdone the cleverness of our creator
the shadows of all oblique angles the curve of the henchman’s arm
and the final blow  rara avis
the rose lifts her skirts, flies away into the morning light
out of the depths (ad infinito) from the beginning
the firm melody of the snake who has no ears, his entire being, a tympanum
the cup is the egg, the serpent circling the egg, the orphic bowl
the sanctum of winged serpent but he is outside his realm
and where are his wings?

Tuesday, July 7, 1992

DREAM VESSELS #37: Mountain Fire Shepherd

DREAM VESSELS #37: Mountain Fire Shepherd 
                                    from a collage by Marsha Connell

A shepherdess steps into a burned land. 
The shelter is not a yurt, but a mountain.
Perhaps the darkness of Tibet.
Where to find tent poles with a shortage of wood?
Tied to the door frame, is an amulet,
laurel leaves and feathers to protect her.

No one sees her in all her coral finery.
On this continent, or in Hawaii,
she would wear a feathered cloak.

Four rams hold up a chalice to the sky,
they rise up to collect rain.
Have the forests been felled by a volcano,
or worse?
The borderless birds watch us. 
The bluebird will not come again,
not this silent spring, or the next.

The orb above the tent is not a moon; 
inexorable oil barrels rise
instead of a harvest moon. 
We march toward the carbon past,
a death-march we can’t stop.
The fire from the oil wells in the Middle East 
will be felt in the remotness of Tibet.
And in the time to come.
The fire will darken her life too,
though Tibet is a closed country.
Our presence is felt there as well.

Summer 1992
This was a corrupted file and I have no hardcopy

Monday, July 6, 1992


DREAM VESSELS #36: Sirens(Angels sing while the world burns) FIRST DRAFT
                                    from a collage by Marsha Connell

And if the world were divided into two
by Corinthian columns, and stone angels
singing from opposite ends of the spectrum,
would it divide the secret heart of light?
Would the redwoods know the strength of greatness?
Would city is rise Up like teeth, or tombstones?
Would the the galleons ships set sail
in the reef clouds over the oil wells?
Would light know how to fragment,
and the holy stones, our smokestacks,
echo in the voices of children
singing from the plateau, or from the tableau?
Scrolls carved in stone, ex lap us.
One boy clutches his robes as he sings,
while others stare off into space, hand on head.
Arms around shoulders, they said
Do the men on the ship hear them,
do they sail to their doom,
to the New World, tabula rasa?
The sirens of the New World. Próspero’s cave.

They say nothing  compares to the purity
of soprano voices of young boys.
Castrati, they kept their voices for their art,
the art of the church, the art of dogma.
In the cathedral of the forest
a plague of cities spreads its disease.
Everything rising up towards God,
the trees, the columns, the ship’s masts.
everything rises. The boys, the smokestacks in the cities
while the oil derricks pump dark blood
from the earth, from under a cloudy sky.
Sky and sea are one thing.
Maybe we are the lost continent of Mu.
Looking up, singing from the fabled Alexandrian library,
from a time when sequoias circled the earth,
final remnants of another age in the New World.
I cannot help but think of Christianity
when I see the redwoods, their longevity
sparks something within me.
Seedlings when the Demotic hymns were sung,
when the cities along the Adriatic
took root among the the stones.
It is said the Aegeans became sailors
because the land was too rocky to till.
I cannot ameliorate these oil wells
in beautiful skies at the same time.
We are ships traveling through
while a chorus of angels sing a delusion of faith.

Summer of 1992

Sunday, July 5, 1992


     —From a collage by Marsha Connell

In front of the Wailing Wall, a flamingo stands.
A tree in the form of a woman
and a tender bud of a flower unfurls
its yellow petals in a slow combustion of light.
Migrating geese rise from a cemetery,
The glistening darkness of raven wings
is not squandered on the depths of the eye.
The vase postulates the concept
of swallowing the sun whole.
Tendrils seek the assurance of gravity,
mixed with the vagaries of the wind.

Marsha said: I cannot get any closer to the Western Wall
because the citadel is masculine energy.
No women are allowed to pray at the wall.
No wonder the woman who is a tree
combusts into a raging fire.

 She is seeking God in a man’s religion.
It’s not a question of taking back the myth,
or anything for that matter.
Death of the spirit is coequal
to that of bones or feathers.
Still we follow migratory patterns
because this is what we know best.
Sculptural beginnings of blossoms cut from the soil,
transfer energy to the a vase, temporal, fleeting.

Last night, the apple tree fell over in the wind.
I saw the trunk as a hollow.
So much deadwood, cambian layers, a thin ray of green
hope among the rotted depths of that hollow trunk.
When where will Midnight, the cat take his daily nap now?
The apples to sour to eat. But we are talking of the world.
Why does God need a wall?
There are already too many walls between us,
between the sexes and God.
Even belief in God is suspect these days.
The rules are all wrong.

They said women have no souls,
that we were merely vessels to hold incarnate seed.
Our wombs, fruiting apples, even the dead know
of transmigration and of seasons. Their bones turning
like stones. They hiss as we approach the wall to pray.

Why must we always except belief in their terms?
Without death there would be no burial rights,
no religion, less separation of the sexes.
But the woman ignites, just the same.
Immolation is one of the four elements.
In the house alone, against the coming night.
Always we are seeking the light,
but our souls toss and turn
as this unbridled passion gathers us in.
Always we are seeking patterns
but the lichen knows only the completeness of stone
coming home. Turning it to dust.

Summer 1992

Saturday, July 4, 1992


 —From a collage by Marsha Connell

A woman bedecked in flowers
a royal wedding barge of her body
pulled over the sea, Ophelia, here's for rue—
an adolescent dream of beauty and of peace
where the coral blossoms full strength.
she has grown useless alizarine wings
that were once maple seeds
but she cannot fly under the sea.

Two oranges hastily rise, the sun, 
its doppleganger pouring forth from the pitcher.
The eclipse poured out of the frame, changed the world.
The kelp undulates in a secret mystery dance of its own.
Small fish come to listen to the knocking of stones
along the shoreline, intransient as stone
where the mock orange bends, shedding white tears
onto milady's gown, which will surely pull her down.

Full fathom five, and she is singing, as she goes down.
Hands articulating the notes, madness transcends
itself into art. The play's the thing,
The bride returns to water, the sphere of her birth.
Sleeping Beauty, someday her prince will come.

Summer 1992

Friday, July 3, 1992

DREAM VESSELS # 33: Death Comes to the Maiden FIRST DRAFT

DREAM VESSELS # 33: Death Comes to the Maiden  FIRST DRAFT
—From a collage by Marsha Connell

The coral snake curls toward the fan
which is written as an invocation to the wind.
When it is hot fan yourself and pray at the same time,
two acts for the price of one,
a corsage of bluebells, the oxblood vase
is like a genii bottle, uncorked. Skeletons rising out.
A man and a woman curl in the pose of final sleep.
Not of our culture where we reside
in separate lead-lined coffins
with no hope of re-joining our species.
But the Tarot cards on the table are from another frame,
a woman in white watches over the game,
the long white hall with the burnished wood floors
has the stillness of a late Victorian afternoon.

While inside the caves the beasts
dream themselves into being.
The aurochs, the bison the, the Paleolithic horses,
the skeleton of a woman protect a child.
Her last act as mother. The man under her,
as if asleep, his thighs over her pelvis.
Perhaps it was a scene from Pompeii.

Who painted the caves of Altamira. Look up,
or Las Caux, the caves, who painted them,
Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon man? I
t was the Neanderthals who buried their dead with flowers.
The concept of an afterlife has been with us for a while.

The snake is curled around the leaves,
the moment just after having tasted the air.
poisonous or not? Count the color patterns
white black red or white red black like a chant
is the difference between life and death.
The music of the forest floor,
it’s as if someone just stepped out for a moment
and will return to finish the game.
But it was a long long time ago, judging by the clues.
It’s hard to say with a prognosis of the cards was,
but death is inevitably in the cards if you wait long enough.
The contemporariness of origins,
the first artists evolving the fruitful hearth.
And what are we searching for now, I wonder?
The millennium approaches, shaking its shaggy horns.

Summer 1992

Thursday, July 2, 1992


—From a collage by Marsha Connell

The danse macabre begins on the vessel.
A ship with four eyes sinks beneath the waves.
A trireme, below the sea, and more ships.
The fish dart through galley portholes
while the sea pounds against the rocks.
Seeking the orient, explorers found fabulous wealth
in apothecaries—medicine was blended to order.
Sleeplessness, impotency, broken hearts,
gallbladder trouble, Balancing the yin and yang.
Bear hearts, tiger penises and rhino horns
crushed beneath mortar and pestle.
And thus began the transference of magic.
I can make out the sun, forest, brave warriors, gentlemen.
Something about a rice field—all written in kanji.
An abacus above the powerlines
resembles skeletons of huge beasts rising.
A double trinity of smokestacks like rockets,
or dragons, while flowers take on the flight of birds.
The amaryllis, black tulips, peonies from the Orient,
and the blood of carnations, the medicine of the ages.
A small worm tugs at the heart of the rose.

Summer 1992

Wednesday, July 1, 1992


     —From a collage by Marsha Connell

A woman bends to plant rice, the fish test the air.
Parrotfish, and butterflyfish nosing the fish kite.
Carpe diem! Schools of fish seize the air.
The groupers hover around the woman,
a starfish reaches for the leaves of plants. 
A flounder eyes up the situation.
In the midst of all this, something rises, 
plantlike, from the vegetable kingdom, 
a primeval stand of fern fronds, 
fiddlenecks anchor the coral gardens 
to the garden above the sea. 
The mountains rise like a wall behind the village.
Two blue keys, perhaps, fishing boats
casting their nets, a multitude of fish later, 
and there are real fish, just nosing around, 
seeking their cousins in the churning air.

Summer 1992