Southern Arizona on my mind, briefly

29 07 2010

There’s a certain Slant of light

has been running through my head.

That oppresses

of course, she was talking about winter and it is summer in my hemisphere.

I am not going to paste the photo of the Arizona morgue in this entry.  However, if you want to see the body bags containing the dead that tried to cross the border and died in the desert click HERE.

I saw this photo in the morning, before yoga practice.  I do mysore, which means I determine and drive the practice myself.  Somehow, when working on handstands on an elevated set of PVC pipes (don’t ask…) the image was there.  I was enveloped by all of those bags.

And by the sense of the desert south of Tucson.

Your fever is spiking now…your will is slipping…Your tongue is wood/You dream of pools, seas, you dream of a lake

I felt the desert and the detritus and the wind that blew the plastic and caused the socks hanging on barbed wire to shift.  I also smelled the desert.  It smelled good and was beautiful and there were the footprints of the dead right in front of me.

sign cutter

The foot prints criss crossing the tracks of the creatures.  In that place where people regularly die of heat prostration in their attempt to cross north, there used to be more sympatric North American quail species than in any other locale in the world.  Of course, the masked bobwhite has not been seen there, as of my last visit in 2009, for years.  There is a current attempt to reintroduce the species.

Keep walking

The birds, the vanished birds, the detritus–a boot, an empty water bottle, an opened can, a piece of plastic, an old battery–the silence the space.

I am walking


quotes are from Emily Dickinson and Luis Alberto Urrea



26 07 2010



fed as a bird






Fragment 139–toads and ghosts

23 07 2010


Did you see

the moon tonight,


a golden toad

consumed her

but she lit him up

like fire

[1] Scholars agree that the golden toad refers to the Costa Rican Golden Toad; a species that disappeared during the great amphibian extinction of 2000-2020, during which time virtually all amphibians except the bullfrog vanished.  The golden toad was one of the first casualties of this extinction, and this extinction was a precursor to the other great extinctions of the early 21st century (mammalian, avian, fish, insect, tree).  There is a song about the frogs, said to have sung by members of the crew of the HMS Elizabeth’s last voyage, for which the lyrics are unknown, although the melody is thought to be hummed by her ghosts.

Goodman Parker and the Terciopelo (or, no matter what is on your mind watch where you step)

18 07 2010

She knew one man, Goodman Parker, who had traveled into the jungle leaving his family an economic ruin behind him, with the hope that he might discover gold, or the fountain of youth or something to buy himself out of debt, into fortune and fame.  Cutting through the rainforest of Central America, in the mist, bug-ridden and bitten, he felt himself a warrior against nature—trying to conquer Her and bring Her under control.  He was, however, not much of a warrior, and spent much of the time wandering lost in circles and weeping out of shear terror.  A mosquito bite cast malaria upon him, and he spent time in states of hallucination (states more profound, Mabel added, than your druggy philosophers could possibly understand).  He stumbled across the Fer de Lance, one morning.  A lovely morning, for the snake curled, camouflaged amid the leaves, was just starting to warm, readying to stretch herself out into hunting mode.  Goodman Parker tread on her tail and she struck.  He had been searching for signs of gold rather than watching for sleeping and venomous beasts.  He cursed her lovely form as she strode away from him on undulating skin.  A moment later, his pulmonary, capillary and venous tissues began to dissolve.

Fragment 145*

16 07 2010


into—the bird-eyes


laid something in a nest

it became


Fragment 171

15 07 2010


The stars

consumed me

[1] Though this fragment was found, according to Dr. Tariz, interspersed among the other texts, it seems of a radically different form and content—less devotional and more mystical, perhaps.

There have been many explanations for the fact that this fragment stands out from all the others.  I mention a few, those that seem most probable to me.  Dr. Tariz herself implied that someone other than a Person of the Door wrote this—some slippage between worlds.  Others have suggested that it was written by King Cornelius himself—the King was not thought to have produced any writings, so if this is the case it is really quite remarkable.

12 07 2010

But those the silent feel

Are beautiful–

Though I’m obviously not particularly silent so perhaps this doesn’t pertain.

I’ve mentioned Emily Dickinson’s perseverance here before.  Or, rather, my own perception of this perseverance.  Her writing has such a fire that I inevitably compare the energies inside of her to my own energies–not, I add hastily, in that our writing is similar–rather, it is just that I cannot imagine she did not feel fires of agitation similar to those I feel.  And yet.

And yet.

Where has my patience gone?

I cannot be honest with you.  I will not lie but I will not  tell the truth either. Sometimes we tell ourselves stories in order to live.  I’ve lost the thread of my own narrative.

You left me Boundaries of Pain–

Capacious as the Sea–

I’m tempted to end this post here.  A little Emily Dickinson; a little of my own whining and then…


Between Eternity and Time–

Your Consciousness and  me