Jesse S. Mitchell
Al mattino anemico
It’s funny how with all our different little eyes, we all see different places in the same spaces in this world
But every night it is the same alike darkness and it is cold to all our faces when we go out on winter days.
Perception is perception but we share that chill. Sense datum. A big loose collection of it, spiraling and coiling and crawling up the length of your arm, reacting to the relative temperature of the air it is blown against, the amount of water, of evaporation. Your skin blooms, hairs stand up.
Perception is perception but we share some things.
The world is round.
We as life, all came from the Ocean.
We as humans, all came from Africa.
Look around you, at the mountains, at the valleys and the wadis and the rivers,
Those are ours, those are the mountains meant to be seen my human eyes, yours and mine.
This is us.
Standing shaky trying to get our balance on a slippery ocean rock flung through vacuous space.
And I leak like liquid, molten iron, or magma, glowing orange, translucent blazes, through the cracks and broken casements and fill in the empty mazes, supermarkets and crunchy department stores.
A whole lot of collaborate noise/elaborate
Strands of sound that stream weave down the edges
And through the streets and yards and gardens
Past the trees and grass and nerve-pulsating flowers
All the little fire-breathing things that throb forth at night
And make themselves, so mosaic, splitter parts of our eyes,
A fracture, a rip.
But there is some fusion, some manufacture…
Among the machinery
And in all the circuitry there is some phantom thing…
That comes burning, that recognizes the faces, that knows all the secrets
That helps us all to move about
And in certain directions,
There is something that finds our way…
Something within the robotic sea
And light emitting diodes
In the flares and pops
There is something ethereal
There is a ghost
When I close my eyes and imagine
And that ghost has two gigantic eyes
Because that is how I imagine death
As intense observation.
Because everything is the question, correct and once you have the answer, why keep asking?
And that is how the spirit moves to me
Towards an end, a visible, apparent end
And that is how the ghost resides with me, all the way towards the end.
Glinting and glittering apparatus, mechanically, to the end.
Gli atomi, ci si dissolvono
And in Rome they have the Pantheon. Home of all the gods. All of them. Walk right up and knock at the door, ring the bell, they’ll let you in. You can take a good look around, even today. Through all the deteriorating divinity, the holiness covered in holes, the grey wastes of mind expanding dust and rust that collects in the corners…too far back for any broom, the water stains and welcome tinges and tarnishes of age and wisdom and advancement. Ooo, groans the wind and the soft breezes that come whipping around the column trees, the statuaries, and the rippling fountains that far outside the door. All marble. All gold.
All of us.
You can fall asleep on purpose, deliberately, slowly, comfortably
But every single one of us, more or less, awakes by surprise, with a start, suddenly
Pulled from some other reality, some other place
The dew still wet on our feet
Our heads a mess.
And the orange-red days shallow us up whole and leave behind only the grey clouds dotting the sky and our old white bones stuck in the clay.
It is a full eternity we live in, every second, every day, one beginning and one end. A big one. An ever-expanding and always-contracting mass of velvety petals and leaves, blooming and waning.
It is all made slower still by the sounds of it, the irresistible silences, not a moment to it, not a ripple over the surface…
And then it is gone.
And us, a bunch of specks floating loose in the universe, flecks called atoms, held together by mutual understandings and sciences we aren’t allowed to comprehend… until one day
And we dissipate and dissolve back into the atmosphere.
Electric changed particles.
All over again.
Il Kohanim dietro la finestra
Near my house was an auxiliary military airfield. They used it often, for surplus and cargo. It was surrounded by big vacant fields of dead brown grass, fenced around by chain link and scrubby bend back bare-barked trees. Wispy.
And on occasion you could spot a big olive drab Hercules come bubbling up, chewing up the air around it, or even a rare jet would burst up over the tree crowned horizon and go shrieking out of the sky.
I used to watch out my front window for the longest stretches of time. Next to me would be my great-Uncle. He was a priest. He was also an atheist and a huge collector of art books and prints.
And we would watch the planes.
Neither of us had any idea what was happening to the world. Him, because he was old and he had lived through a lot, wars, memories of wars, scandals, and me, because I was so young, seven or eight and I had no reference point in the whole universe.
But behind my house there was nothing, nothing but rows of houses like dominoes.
Built to fall…
Ha un accendino, per favore?
Meant to fall
Like words teeth-kicking tumbling over …
Like words scrawled on the bathroom stalls of a young laboratoriums, auditoriums, music halls,
Anywhere there is that real sound, that true speech of angels
Of those who could withdraw but instead stay here with us out of some strange otherworldly conscientious compulsion.
And then, when it would get dark and the planes wouldn’t fly too much anymore, the stars would come out. And the sky would shine. We would watch that for a while.
You know, stars are nothing but old balls of burning gas and waste, eventually they die. In fact, by the time we see them in the sky, they have already died. Phantom lights.
But they come back again. Reincarnation.
And in Rome they have the Pantheon. Home of all the gods.
A lot of talk about death and life and reincarnation. A lot of people say “in my next life, I hope it is here or there or that I am this or that” but I have never wanted a next life, just this one. It is sad to even imagine another one.
It’s funny how with all our different little eyes, we all see different places in the same spaces in this world.
I don’t want to leave this life to go to any other one. I just want to stay in this one as long as I can and then…then I am through. Gone. And this is how we deserve to feel. How we are supposed to feel.
And if I can do everything just right, I can someday place my hands, palms down, pressed against the glass of this Earth and feel it, really feel it, and then dissipate away, gone. Dissolve into those far flung, fiery firmaments and then when the sky starts to shine, I will come spilling back to your eyes, pure white light.