Archive for August, 2008

Prelude to a Marriage

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/26/08

Certainly, the suburbanites are fond of trees,
At least as decorations, but the forest presents
Problems. They know that they have to keep
A wary eye on anything, which violates
Their image of internal fractionalization,
And so large and so cohesive of a conspiracy
Continually threatens to engulf them
With the long risings and fallings of treacherous
Once upon a times. Their sleep is
Still haunted by that trail of ashes leading
To the mysterious bridegroom’s house,
That feeling of ominous identification, which
Infects them with the innocence of a bride,
No matter what their professional qualifications.
She goes, this bride, night after night, deeper and deeper,
Through those densities of trees, rooted
Below the ground as one great being,
In search of the cure for the disequilibrium
Of human aspiration, but fearing always
The discovery of the indifferent cannibal,
Whose mechanical bobbing and nodding,
Reminds her of her own afflicted childhood,
And all those rituals of meaningless rhythm,
That only seemed to be leading towards the goal,
Which she has never quite attained. Sometimes,
The bridegroom’s head, as if housed bodiless in a black box,
Invites this girl to a late supper, which
He describes, not so soothingly, as “permanent”.
And it is just here, that she discovers,
Inside of her, the organic level of compactedness
Comprising peat and coal, and feels those
Racing spider-cracks of fragility stress-fracturing,
Through subtle changes of temperature only,
Throughout her defenseless bones. It is this internal ghost,
This girl who cannot find her way,
Who prompts them to order their landscapers
To gather only the most effete refugees
For their manufactured gardens, callously herding
Together English Walnut, Black Gum Eucalyptus,
Chinese Tallow, Canary Island Date Palm,
Nepalese Camphor, even Jerusalem Thorn,
So that these most gregarious of the planet’s
Creatures can only babble in the innocuous
Breezes as individual specimens, and never
Whisper of the wholeness forever absent
From the bride’s fragmented heart. Still, they, she, the suburbanites,
The bride, hear, hears them, it, the trees, the forest,
And in the midst of these not so random rustlings,
Begins to know how the local and global extrema
Of her shattered world differ only on the surface,
And that underground all distinctions between
The sacred and the tainted, the prosperous and the poor,
Are obliterated. And she, they, keeps, keep hearing, in those
Murmurous diasporas of leaves, a choir that says,
As if through a single, indivisible voice,
“Enter in peace, O crown of your husband’s jewel,
And live in jubilation among you’re your faithful,

Once Upon a Time

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/25/08

Like a Giant, whose fall is prolonged by
Some kind of supernatural agency,
The shade of the house and of the western trees
Continues to stretch the darks across the brights,
Reminding us of the assembly of conflicting
Associations that we suppress each day
In the body’s fiery cloister. The sharp
Cries of a thrush in the shattering blooms
Of a tall ligustrum,, the rattle of dry wind
Through dryer foliage, the counterfeit pleasures
Of the yellow east, all these corrupt the doctored
Data on the infallibility of human progress,
And disseminate inscrutable images
Through the grass, where so many tiny
Green snakes keep slipping away.
The boy in the witch’s oven, a grown man, now,
Still holds out the surrogate bone to his blind tormentor,
Struggling to reconfigure the biomedical model
That defines Death as “treatment failure,”
And not this inevitable languor of the Giant’s
Shadow making phantom beings on the lawn,
And in the tops of trees, gremlins billeting themselves
Right in the midst of our most bucolic moments,
And shrieking, from the very throes of these peaceful
Rustlings: “Next stop: Night!” as they beat
The children through the gate with hangman’s nooses.
A crow has replaced the thrush in a nearer shrub,
His hellion caw cutting an unrestful ramble
Across the sky’s clean blue, and reminding us
That even the massing of trees can be terrible,
However impassive their vegetable lusts.
The witch, eventually, grows tired of being deceived.
The Giant, eventually, terminates his fall.
And when the surrogate is finally rejected, will the boy
Be inside or outside of Paradise? And will the man,
If he is one now, stop offering
His useless bit of bone, accept the prohibitions
Enforced upon him, and elucidate
His fate with honest speech?

Conflagration

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/1/08

When it happens, the illusory distance
Between the spectator and the projection
Collapses. These are no longer shrubs
Or trees of this or that species with ovate,
Orbicular, or cordate leaves,
But a lavishly bearded mass, a nexus
For all possibilities, the contemplation
Of which obliterates every mathematical
Inquiry. We had always, while trying
To navigate or even extend the irresponsible
Neutrality of looking on, of seeing without
Being seen, thought these green spectacles
Were safe, that we could gaze on them
With utter impunity, arranging their images
In the mind with the same freedom
By which we comb our hair. The murdering
Appetites of birds and insects, the hide-and-seek
Fairy tales of them and us, the experiment
In which the whole world could burn
Without scorching human skin has suddenly
Caught us in its rush, and we are in:
Our breath and the breeze weaving a shared
Biography from the onslaught of beauty
Slashing at our eyes and the uproar of silence
Pummeling our ears. The white placentas,
The red placentas, the slow back and forth
Swaying of filaments in nearly stagnant pools,
The whole inert volume of the three realms,
Drains from our body, and that familiar,
But insubstantial figure, in a layered fury
Of green intention and sapphire sparks of sky,
Spreads swiftly to the center of the sun
On pathways illumined by sinuous threads of fire.

Burn Notice

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/24/08

Perhaps because we cannot stop feeling sleepy,
We do not weep when the skies continue to darken,
A drop in blood sugar, regulating the dosage of our alarm.
And yet, interminable fires, interminable smoke,
Keeps creeping down these late reproachful hours,
Morning, noon, and night, constantly encircling
The body of a figure with desperate, uplifted arms.
Such is the human brain’s persistence
In amputating, like a leg, its own emotions,
In hobbling it own immense ability to love.
Afterwards, the clinician can label this aversion
As a disintegration of body-integrity,
Brought on by the planet itself, its skies’
New coarse covering no longer a stimulation for the spirit,
But a nimble, warning motion, on one leg only,
A grotesque trick, a knack, a pyromaniac’s
Smoky preparation for an obsolete medicinal
Intervention, whose effects are so primitive,
So crippling, and so unworthy of revival,
That suddenly we feel an overwhelming urge
To preserve wood, to peel away the bark
Of an adolescent tree, to discover, if behind
All this roughness and conflagration,
There might still be a smooth, moist,
Flesh-like texture, something we might caress,
And apologize to, so that the burning limbs
Of so many sons and daughters will not infect
Our sleep and mutilate our dreams.
But we are so, so sleepy, and perhaps, even
The clinician is already asleep, so that when these
Flaming ghosts stand before us, making red medleys
Of their shifting accusations, we cannot defend ourselves,
But must allow their whole, slowly
Revolving atmosphere of burning, bewitching green
To scarify us with such ruddy insistence,
So that nothing can remain to distinguish
Sleep from waking, but these manifest vituperations,
These prayers for something to drench the heart with grief.

Into The Experience

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Interview with Neale Donald Walsch

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008