Raw Silk Uncut Wood
This is not who I am. I am not who I appear to be. Yet the fiction of the truer self remains. Am I its remains of me? Am I what shimmers in the mirror still, after you shed a tear then parted? what shivers in the water’s gleaming when the wind surged in search of its longing? a disturbance of dust in an empty room? a quickening of the heart from nobody’s gaze?
An inimitable emptiness at the root of all things brings tears to the eyes as the moon its tide, and I try to focus on this void, to grasp its stillness that might soothe me. Yet like all abysses, it’s a mirror that fragments its illusions. Faced before it, you are a labyrinth, scattering yourself like dust on erstwhile winds.
There are love poems scrawled on prison brick. There’s a bouquet of flowers on the windowsill. A statue shudders while its shadow looms. Streetlamps and angels tremble for a moment, their light wanes then bursts. Why this sorrow? Why this seeking-of-yourself to-your-end? You’ve forgotten yourself, yes, but why then do you fear to be forgotten?
Anxiously swaying back and forth while convulsed in tearful tremors, you dearly hold on to what was lost. It becomes you, the tears and blush, as, the shard of remembrance having been caressed to no resemblance, you have become it. Internalizing loss, what was lost will be interred. You can’t return to yourself. Even though you are yourself, you’re even more the longing for, the being forsaken by your self, lost, looming, immanent.
Yet it’s there — riven from you’ll be given to — your self — and, forgotten, forgiven. Although disintegration’s reach is far, infinite abandonment, even imagined, can’t be contained, but it can be uttered in a cry. All vibrantly tactile, this realization that it took self to cry for a self with which you’re now commingled in song. This threshold past, there’s touch, there’s breath, and nearness, you.
“Stop being holy, forget being prudent,
it’ll be a hundred times better for everyone.
Stop being altruistic, forget being righteous,
people will remember what family feeling is.
Stop planning, forget making a profit,
there won’t be any thieves and robbers.
But even these three rules
needn’t be followed; what works reliably
is to know the raw silk,
hold the uncut wood.
Forget the rules.