Monday, January 6, 2014

William Everson

William Everson [Janjaap Dekker]

Sixty Five

I stand in the center of a twilight field,
Distantly circled by dark woods,
But the woods hold no fear.

                                         The meaning
Turns on an emptiness of space, of vague half-light,
The shadowless dusk beyond sundown.

                                                            My awareness
Is clear, the sense of subsistent identify
Distinct and whole. But there is nothing to apprehend,
Nothing save the circling space
And the weightless air.

                                   What comes home
Is the total absence of force, the suspension of power,
Any capacity to make. Not paralysis,
Rather the dispersal of focus, as if the spirit
Retained unimpaired its powers of perception,
But the counter-thrust of brute causation,
Or the dramatic synthesis of form,
Have ineluctably passed.

                                      I think:
This is the ghost-state — to behold reality
But no longer affect it. Soon comes the clinging
To what is no more, the ineffectual
Fumbling of shards of experience.
Like King Arthur’s ghost,
Dabbling his hands in Dozmare pool,
Groping the memory of a fabulous sword
That once was his all.

                                 I awake in chagrin,
Curled in a foetal suspension, afloat in time,
Hugging a sense of enigmatic loss.
A pulsation of pain, relinquishment
Of all the incisive forms I stood yet to create,
Drifts through me. Not the pang of death,
For death holds no terror. Rather,
The passing of rapacious joy, that appetitive
Sensuality and intellective thirst
Our slaking of which yields all we know
Of basal impulse: all we can keep
In heaven, or all we can hug
In hell: the signal
Instinct, the sovereign spirit,
The sceptral mind.

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