Facing Night

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What reaches for the sun.  What turns green panes flat to the zenith.  A green order in the bay window, quatrefoil.  Egg-toothed cotyledon.

~

There’s something to know and it can’t be known and I have to know it.  It wakes me up in the morning, shivers me through the day.  My soul fleeth unto the Lord, what Lord, what Lord.  And then it passes.  It returns.  It hits me on the highway, drives me the long way home.  I try to see it but it’s nothing; my eye can’t find the edges.  I try to see through my own death.

~

The mind in disorder, the mind in terror, turning green panes flat to the zenith.  Caius is a man.  Caius is mortal.  Turn your green leaf flat to the zenith.

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Keep busy.  Join a gym.  Concentrate on your work.  Pick up a hobby.  Have intercourse regularly.  Think positively.  Drink a pint at the pub on a Friday.  Keep your mind busy.  Go to bed early.  Talk to an actuary.  Say you’re sorry.  If it’s legal for you to do so, marry.  Eat vitamins and fiber.  Keep current with the culture.  Maintain your sense of humor.  Trust in self-improvement.  Listen at a low volume.  Exhibit an appropriate decorum.  Devote your life to moderation.  Take a yearly one-week beach vacation in a nice family place on the sheltered side.  Nevermind trying to see through your own death.

~

The egg chips; it breaks.  But on the other side there’s nothing, the bottomless black bag: no point of light.  What reaches for the sun, what sun, what sun.  What luxurious infinities.

~

And then by no act of mine it’s less, and then it’s less it’s gone.  I’m on the other side of the halo, in the unhaunting.  There is no gentleness like mine.  I’m made right just by being; my body turns flat to the zenith.  Come back, everyone, come back, let’s have a thing.  I’ll play out some new disaster to make you laugh; what’s past is past.  I don’t mean the way I’ve been.  Let’s drink champagne and play a song till we’re awake.  Let’s read a Tu Fu poem, and pass the book around, each of us looking for his own translation: “All night long, I can see through my death.”*

*”Facing Night,” translated by David Hinton

This is Peter’s fifth post for Get Behind the Plough.