Voices on the Wind Voices in the Garden
From Pound Laundry by Michael Gregory Maelid—hamadryads specific to apples— invented it would seem to inhabit the one still there in the well-kept backyard behind the three-storey woodframe he was raised in: Fernbrook Avenue suburban Republican Philadelphia names of some repute on both sides a Pound in Congress a Wadsworth in legend church-going humanitarian folk dedicating a goodly share of their lives to mission work with Italian immigrants in the shade of which old apple tree redolent of the fruits of paradise stopping on their way out from thirteen years of Washingtonian hospitality back to the Mediterranean sanity they hoped would still be there he kissed his wife of fifty years who had kept him daily company while he served out the de facto sentence into whose custody mother of the son who bore his name he was released. ******* Father Parmenides Father Abraham one foot one leg one eye one arm over the other when all the world testifies to plurality who could believe the goddesses all one goddess with so many catfights going on down the hall the cloud-banked chambers of heaven racked with jealousies? believe deities and all attendant spooks balled up in a static sterile numerical concept subservient to an egotistical thunderhead? Who could trust a walk in the wolf garden logic once the fathers of the church universal got hold of it— deduction from reduction of abstraction out of the only reality that counts? The one made of light immanent, infinitely diverse, the one made of syllogisms transcendent, a fata morgana. ****** Self-realization / self-possession the very condition of possibility for individuality prescribed by the social logic of private property achievable only when self, enduring contextual rhythms and laws, disappears into an eyeball so transparent as to admit the ethical totality Repetitions accumulating a structure a texture generating significance calling less for levels of interpretation than multiplicities of response expressed less in ambiguities than in particulars, determinate meanings, actions, words—nouns when feasible— resonating within certain lines Intrinsic worth of ethics nature religion art the past—any experience— immediately self-evident congruent with the particular itself being experienced, the difficulties inherent in personal discovery —knowing thyself in an oracular sense— part of what makes life worthwhile Wilde’s Each man kills the thing he loves Butler’s All men eat what they love the darwinian nightmare in either case (Lewis: The Art of Being Ruled) complete absorption in consummate embrace one universal tongue of agglutination not heart to heart in fond desire but protoplasm to protoplasm Warts and all received into the garden— despite the violence in the name of love he promised against the rose unfolding there by the fountain where dipolar gems beneath the surface transfigure ordinary male desire— to cavort among the laureled guests even mortal enemies conceding the magnitude of his contribution ******* Timing is all and life to the living. Unmindful now of courts where oaths are muttered and loves by the number played minus both net and ball, on nodding hill Silenus naps syrinx mislaid on the grassy knoll while there beneath on the wayward green quislings and poundlings bodies electric trip the light fantastic to the odd measure rude mechanics employ to sell the latest thump and wiggle contrived from melodies unheard. ******* Maybe it was Aristophanes they had in mind without the scholasticized croaking of transatlantic puns for these spaced evenly as votive doves around a vessel though amphibolous are mute, concrete, larger than life no water at all except when it rains and then not enough to transfigure the green paint peeling off the sides and bottom. But still it’s not clear exactly who the joke is supposed to be on when no fauns appear to sing against in the half-light no crystals show up on the floor of the pool to bring into focus the lover’s submarine view of the world inside the closed garden. Yet it’s the thought that counts. Sometimes a frog is just a frog and it’s hard at this late date not to picture him stopping here after negotiating the steep salìta from Sant’ Ambrogio on his loose-limbed way to the conjugal flat downtown. *******