Friday, December 22, 1995

Fragments for Arc


Obler's paradox. The universe is so immature that all the starlight hasn't had time to reach us. If there are so many bright stars in the universe, why isn't the sky lit up at night?

What is the speed of water rising up a dahlias stem? 4 feet an hour. Is this true of all plants? 

The bomb Oppenheimer a blind woman saw the light and asked about it. Eoliths: dawn stones.

The Dogstar, Serius. Roman dogs were sacrificed in winter. 
Egyptians believed there was an alliance, or a dalliance between the sun and the brightest star and it caught the summers heat. The dog days of summer. 
They circle each other in a 50 year-orbit, like slow dancers sniffing each others assholes. The closest one now is -94. The dog and the dwarf always circling in a gravitational red shift.

Beautiful words in the English language cellar door, bodega dunes, bread pudding, back porch, spring training, public library, atomic bomb.

They say after the bomb went off, Oppenheimer rode into the hills with whiskey and chocolate. Was he seeking the sacred plain of Kuruksetra?

In the fall of 1992, 50 years after Oppenheimer had founded Los Alamos in a Faustian bargain, I visited the museum where forest-green casings for Fat Man and Little Boy slept.

Oppenheimer was a Bohemian scholar, a Jew, and he devoured 16th-century French poetry. He thought a bomb would make the world a better place. Quantum mechanics. Enamored by the Bhagavad Gita, he moved increasingly to the left and learned Sanskrit. The first chapter laments the consequences of war.

But Pearl Harbor led to the Manhattan Project . In the fall of 42 Los Alamos was founded. Code names: Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones. Lawrence built the bomb, and it was a place he was not allowed to name. The sudden irony of one-way tickets to a tiny station in NM. A secret lab atop a mountain, a potential of things to come a walled city. They said that worms came out of the faucets. 

Edward Teller played Beethoven late at night, disturbing everyone in the bomb town. 

Did my cousin Marie Walsh attend the parties drinking lab alcohol? I search the stills looking for a family resemblance in these 1940s women. Mary hadn't yet found us. A woman I had never met. They say I resemble her in baby photos. That she look like an angel. 

A radio station with no call letters. In 1942 there was barely enough plutonium in the world to cover a pinhead. The first atomic bomb was detonated in the Obscuro Mountains, Alamogordo, Trinity was Apache country, Jornado Del Muerto, the journey of death

The world became unnatural. GIs slaughtering wild antelope with machine guns. 

Thye say there was storm lightning that night, the night of fear, a portends of things to come it was an augur light in the desert he said, I was a different person from then on. The purple clouds, the key to the thunder reverberated, echoing back-and-forth and Oppenheimer yelling, It worked, it worked! The light of a thousand stars.

The sun was rising in the wrong direction. The blind woman saw the light and asked what it was, having no reference to it. Oppenheimer rode off into the hills carrying chocolate and whiskey to drown his sorrows. They say that the hair of cattle turned white. A black cat with white spots.

Then, Tokyo, reduced to rubble. The bomb was dropped because no one had the courage to say no. Hiroshima was a virgin city, untouched by firebombs and Frank Oppenheimer said, We hadn't thought about of all those fallen people. What have we done? It shouldn't be in anger, my brothers.

The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2: The Eternal Reality of the Soul's Immortality

Mary's death by cancer, and her cousin, my mother's breast cancer, a result of the bomb fallout.

Shoah is the Hebrew word signifying utter destruction. Holocaust. Shovah, a period of time in Japanese history. Shiva, goddess of destruction. L'shanah tovah. Cast our sins into the river. The starlight of the universe unleashed all at once. Karma, revelations of the ultimate truth. Om, shanti, om.

December,1995

added & rev. 11/17, it was a scrawled mess and merely by typing it up required revision, I had to abandon bits of it as I couldn't de.code it. I don't know if I used this piece in Building an Arc in the Dark of the Year as I was tired of working on it, yet the information kept on coming in.

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