Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The girl who opens doors

For Marcella Sali Grace

I didn’t know her
But I met the spirit of that girl
In her father’s voice
And I recognized her immediately

"Love brings the kind of magic that talent can only dream of"
- Nguyen Khai

"It takes a lot of energy to re-invent the world on a daily basis"
- Diane Di Prima

"For the true artist, the desire for intensity is stronger than the will for self-preservation"
- Rudiger Safranski, NIETZSCHE, A Philosophical Biography

I walk through a door
And then another door
And then another
Through one door there is good food
Through another there is drink, long and full,
And finally the metal hinge of a third door
Sings to me, calls,
And I proceed to the living room

There are patterns of doors laughing, opening and closing,
Multi-colored, multi-layered,
Brown-bronze wood doors hugging beveled glass
Hiding-holding the myth called music, tightly,
Inside petrochemical plastic doors, preserving song-life
That really just wants to open the door, live strong,
And move on

I didn’t know her
But I heard the spirit of that girl
In her father’s voice
And I recognized her immediately

I didn’t know her
But I know warm fresh bread when I taste it
I know the roundness and depth of wine
When it tip-toes or thunders across my palette
I know what I like

I didn’t know her
But I felt the spirit of that girl
In her father’s voice
And I liked her immediately

There was a picture on the wall
That became a door
When her father spoke
When he intoned Sali
That girl came out
Fleet of foot and swift of temper
In a high dance step
And the laws of terror and wonder
The agreements of person and will
Of animal, vegetable and mineral
Lay down at her feet
And listened

Her father was talking to me
But his voice kept saying
Over and over and over again
"Sali, there’s no one in life quite like you"

I didn’t know her
But, fourteen days after she stumbled violently
Through the damp night crime door
Into the reed clay pool of eternity
I dream-wed her in Arab dress and hoop earrings
She had long black temple curls
In classic flame and rhyme
She spoke in the dual languages of God, poetry and time

This is what she said to me:
"With a crescent wrench,
I open a rusted red dumpster door
And turn it into a quick meal of love and ferocity.
Inside that same box of becoming and abandonment
I see a greased and stained brown paper bag
Inside the bag there is a plate with three parts
Holding sloth, con games and misogyny
I jump out of the dumpster, leaving the door open,
Locate a green counter where trades are made
And exchange the bag of sloth, con games and misogyny
For the photostream of parenthood, teaching and sex
Sex becomes mystery, teaching becomes openness,
Parenthood becomes creation
I crown myself again and again and roar, because
I know that at the end of my tongue
There is always the mission of opening doors

I love opening doors
The doors of freight trains become
Womb doors, the doors of rickety country buses
Become heart doors; the flat, wide thump of working feet
Pound the ground and open the doors of perception
So that I might bear witness
To this beautiful being
I love opening doors
And I open them all;
Dream doors, rock doors, bird doors, root doors,
The old school doors of the delta

The warp, the woof, the moisture of perception
I keep the doors open as if they were
My own breath
If a smoking stack signals that freight is on the way
Then this open door surely means
Here is sanctuary

I open the doors of power
That flow from life to life
Like spiritual insurance

I open the self-containing, self-sustaining doors
From behind which my own hermitage anoints her self
By following my seed back to its source

I love doors!

"Don’t be afraid, the clown’s afraid, too"
- Charles Mingus

But, I am a soul
Locked-up inside a body
A sailing impoverished circus, Jah clown,
Blood drummer of flared sticks against caribou breasts

I am against submission and the confusion of submission
And the weakness and stupidity of those who agree to submit
The purified water of a clean well
I am somewhere that no one can drink from me
And to know this thing
Is a terrible hurt put on my heart

For you I have opened the door to myself
The clear deep well of my being
From which no one will draw
And to know this thing
Is a terrible hurt put on my heart

There is no honor here where I am, no soul
Nothing authentic or certain; no undeniable faith;
No surety; no crosschecking uncensored system
That guarantees continuity or salvation or flow

No Krishna, no Buddha, no Judah, no sweet Jesus,
No paradise of lost and found Islam
Riding the blow holes of clairvoyant dolphins

The signposts change instantly
One reads, "God made love to a blue duck in this doorway"
Another answers graphically, "Who the fuck cares?"

There is coolness here; a shadow,
That mimics real darkness
It tells me to cherish my losses
And that defeat is sweeter than victory
It tells me that in order to open the door to love
I have to bend my knee and submit to the other love,
The degradation of love; then consistently practice the ritual
Of negative courage; but,
I have already stated that I am against submission
And the weakness and stupidity of those who agree
To submit to anything; but, I am confused
In my heart, which is my soul locked-up inside my body

There is no question here
That can be answered by simply
Paying attention

Everything changes
A golden light becomes a guitar
"I don’t want to be God, but I can’t stand being human"

Everything changes
"I am ancient, but I am not old"

Here, where I am, there is odor, taste, sight, feeling, sound,
Acute awareness
And the six additional perfected senses
Proximity, delicacy, coordination, no pity, consecration
That make-up the songs of the chief speakers
Of the refuge of the open door

I am one with them
I sit in an ark of song, a kind of mystic chorale,
Forever in a chariot of butterflies without fingerprints
Praising and thanking caterpillar you
Whose mind first made
By chanting the overwhelming mantra of silk

I now eat submission;
Weakness and stupidity
Have become the found meal of my life

I have given
All there is to give"


Image in homage of Sali by Kalvellido.

1 comment:

KristieMichelle said...

Thank you for bringing your art to McKendree University today. The way you speak and write is inspiring. It was very nice to meet you.
Thank you again,
Kristie Manning
Managing Editor
The Mckendree Review