Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Lathe of Heaven:

When I touch the spinning
Wood with sharpened steel
It speaks! Foot flies
On the petal; my head, or this room
Like the belly of a fiddle
Thrums.
The spindle reaches out to
Form the axis of a wheel
On which the stars are inscribed
And spinning eons on.
The rim of that wheel rubs
A cord of gut, stretched taunt
To the throat
Of the hanged man, who sings.
What he sees; the present, the future,
And the past, but inverted
And no way to
Cipher which is which.

A, E, I, O, U – vowels, yes and words,
You didn’t think of
Come wobbling down the songline
Like quivering blobs of jelly.
They
Don’t
Make
Sentence, cause like I said
There’s nothing certain. Even
The drone of the vibrating string
Could be anything, or cease suddenly –
So that you can’t hook them end to end
Anymore, the things inside the blobs of
Duration I mean, being sung by the hung
Man, who’s dangling,
Suspended by his feet,
Naked and singing
Of what was, is, and will be,
On the axis of that tree ~ he has
A density shaving in his head ~ is that a sentence?



(To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven.(知止乎其所不能知,至矣。若有不即是者,天鈞敗之。)((a faulty translation from the Tao))

5 comments:

Cathy said...

Good lord, Dan. That's amazing. Love the subtle, almost-not-there rhyme scheme, and the Tarot references.

Wow.

Dan Dutton said...

Hee! (Thanks!) I love the two mistakes you found (petal/pedal & taut/taunt) - that turn in into a palimpsest as well.

Considering it's a lathe, maybe we should perform the inversion as well, so that it's a palindrome.

Cathy said...

Palimpsest? Now you're just showing off, heh heh.

Dan Dutton said...

Hey, that's what art is!

SBD said...

Arriving on your blog is like taking a transcendent trip through space and time...
Cresses and prayers, noble tombstones, fragmented wanderings...
Flowers of words flung far afield...it is magic.