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After the Fire

January 27, 2019

Note: It’s been a long time since I have finished a poem with Gnoetry that I felt good about–one that I would feel strong enough about to post up here–but the prospect of a new member has inspired me to work on some of the drafts I had casually written last year. So here one is. Perhaps there will be more to come.

Enjoy.

This is nothing until in a single man contained,
Nothing until this named thing nameless is
And is destroyed. He opens the door of his house

On flames. The scholar of one candle sees
An Arctic effulgence flaring on the frame
Of everything he is. And he feels afraid.

— Wallace Stevens, from “The Auroras of Autumn,” VI

The day stirs the bare limbs above me,
dry breath from the frozen fields. 
                                                              Inside,
charred, still smoldering, I sit patiently
 
with my despair, having done too little,
for too long, to fan these flames, having been
 
content enough, secure enough in my same
 
fearful ways, narrow, shut in, obscure
to myself.
                    I let go now of the daydream
of mountains, never still for an instant,
 
trembling violently until they have shaken
themselves to dust.
                                     And still, and always,
nothing and no one are liberated.
 
———————————————-
Early draft composed in Gnoetry 0.2 from the following source texts:
Chris Hedges, The World As It Is
The Invisible Committee, To Our Friends
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Assembly
Gertrude Stein, Narration Four Lectures
Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Lao Tzu (tr. Ron Hogan), Tao Te Ching
Samuel Beckett, Nohow On (Company; Ill Seen Ill Said; Worstward Ho)
Jean Baudrillard, Passwords
Peter Handke, Slow Homecoming
Lydia Davis, The Collected Stories
J. Khrishnamurti, Mind Without Measure
David Harvey, The Enigma of Capital
Clarice Lispector, Agua Viva
The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection
Virginia Woolfe, The Waves
Judith Butler, Undoing Gender
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind Beginners Mind
Gertrude Stein, The World Is Round
Woods Hutchinson, The Child’s Day
Wallace Stevens, The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
John Ashbery, Three Poems
David Ebershoff, The Danish Girl

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2019 5:08 pm

    I don’t exactly know what brought me here today, but my goodness am I wandered in again. This is fantastic, man.

    Semi-related: have the ads on WordPress gotten a bit invasive, or is it just me?

    • February 28, 2019 12:05 pm

      Thanks, man. Also, you might be right about the ads. Occasionally I even see an ad through my adblocker. If the site were to become more active again, I would consider putting it up on its own server. Hmmm.

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