Two Hundred and Six Bones

Two Hundred and Six Bones

The skin that hangs from this skeleton is cloud stuff: tree limbs on a hilltop seen from a moving vehicle – ineluctable like foxfire in nightwind, vanishing within seconds after sight. The tegument between these bones feels right; tightened to keep me strung high and low (cap a pe) from waist to crown to toe and then below all things connective like my lord’s puppet all unstrung. Femurs found in a dig in Egypt; metatarsals un- covered beneath centuries of dust in Mesopotamia and parts of a skull in a helmet in a river in England: all these things were once living and breathing: creation’s transitive explosion of love and here I still am in the middle of it all alive and wondering how it all will end.  The thigh bone connected to the hip bone, the hip bone connected to the love bone now hear the word of the Lord.  Or is it Darwin?  Why must we choose as if from a menu of entrees in the bistro of history?  Garden of Eden or Olduvai Gorge? Cain and Abel or Australopithecus africanus? Noah or Homo Erectus?  Revelation or walking fish? Which?  Or both, or none?  Can anyone judge or even begin to care?  Too many questions without enough answers.  This is the way it always must be.  I can feel it in my bones: all two hundred and six of them rattling around in a cage of flesh – bone house, brain house, sea road of muscle and fat waving us on into infinity’s mystery.       from Eavesdropping in Plato’s Café Also published at Indiana Humanities...
Fandango

Fandango

The last few bars of Mysticali Rose drifting down the street mixt with dust and rolling mesquite the beat lingering there in that corner where heat gathers itself up into a knot of tangled memories and squats in a heap of rags and print and sighs out loud for squandered love. You want to sing but cannot even hum. You want to scream but no sound escapes your mouth. Only the white moth flies out making good her fatal break as bone men strum their liquid guitars and proud dancers in red shake their fiery heads in tune, in tune with the fierce rhythms of leaving.   from   Eavesdropping in Plato’s Café Featured Painting: Blue Dancers  by  Susan...
Fragments from the Gone World

Fragments from the Gone World

  XXVII Simonides of Keos inventor of the art of memory said that painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks. He knew the true poet’s wish: to make a poem whose images speak to so many people that its words live on forever. But forever is much too long a time. Just ask poor Sappho whose poems cannot be found except in tiny scraps: one stuck here, one stuck there, one found wrapped around a mummy’s head, recycled to preserve a politician’s memory.   from   Eavesdropping in Plato’s...