Friday, September 25, 2015

on the road home

On the Road Home

It was when I said,
“There is no such thing as the truth,”
That the grapes seemed fatter.
The fox ran out of his hole.

You … You said,
“There are many truths,
But they are not parts of a truth.”
Then the tree, at night, began to change,

Smoking through green and smoking blue.
We were two figures in a wood.
We said we stood alone.

It was when I said,
“Words are not forms of a single word.
In the sum of the parts, there are only the parts.
The world must be measured by eye”;

It was when you said,
“The idols have seen lots of poverty,
Snakes and gold and lice,
But not the truth”;

It was at that time, that the silence was largest
And longest, the night was roundest,
The fragrance of the autumn warmest,
Closest and strongest.

-- Wallace Stevens


  1. oh my god, how entirely beautiful this is, and how true - just by reading this, and the world becomes indeed roundest, fullest - measured not only by eye, but by breath too...

  2. this is almost like the twin of this poem:

    The Latest Freed Man

    Tired of the old descriptions of the world,
    The latest freed man rose at six and sat
    On the edge of his bed. He said,
    “I suppose there is
    A doctrine to this landscape. Yet, having just
    Escaped from the truth, the morning is color and mist,
    Which is enough: the moment’s rain and sea,
    The moment’s sun (the strong man vaguely seen),
    Overtaking the doctrine of this landscape. Of him
    And of his works, I am sure. He bathes in the mist
    Like a man without a doctrine. The light he gives–
    It is how he gives his light. It is how he shines,
    Rising upon the doctors in their beds
    And on their beds. . . .”
    And so the freed man said.
    It was how the sun came shining into his room:
    To be without a description of to be,
    For a moment on rising, at the edge of the bed, to be,
    To have the ant of the self changed to an ox
    With its organic boomings, to be changed
    From a doctor into an ox, before standing up,
    To know that the change and that the ox-like struggle
    Come from the strength that is the strength of the sun,
    Whether it comes directly or from the sun.
    It was how he was free. It was how his freedom came.
    It was being without description, being an ox.
    It was the importance of the trees outdoors,
    The freshness of the oak-leaves, not so much
    That they were oak-leaves, as the way they looked.
    It was everything being more real, himself
    At the centre of reality, seeing it.
    It was everything bulging and blazing and big in itself,
    The blue of the rug, the portrait of Vidal,
    Qui fait fi des joliesses banales, the chairs.

  3. this is a dance of tongues. it is as though fire speaks or snow draws its hands into its lap and dozes. magic is taking place. but magic is always taking place. only we are so accustomed to it we forget it until stevens shakes his napkin to eat a piece of pie made of fruity sun disks and mountains slide as a consequence.

    ha, yes, gold and lice, such poverty!

    oh, and how perfectly roxana sings with you and stevens and the other stevens (the same stevens)!

    the photograph - for the first time i can't help but see those fence markers as narrow grave markers. so be careful the eye. i think the eye he suggests must not be one of two, but the one of all - being, experience itself, before recollection and misdirection.

    even words (poetry) are idols to the things of being themselves.

    this is exciting. and difficult. but the easy things are mundane and irrelevant, aren't they.