Thursday, July 2, 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, of 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 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 the 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 like the resurrection
perhaps it rose out of the tomb 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
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 of 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
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
before it plunged to the earth, its pinfeathers still sheathed
Surely there must be more to living than this death, this ceasing
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 conceive it into being
I am therefore I am came 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 to 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 1, 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?