Canto IV

[34]

Our charade crawls on dimensionally

Stretched over time like a fraying carpet

Ridden with skin shedding replicas

Guise of Ouroboros out of space

Into outwardly entitled apparently distinguished

Entities expressive all of one infinite aspect

Considering itself within separate channels of thought

Various reflections conferring individualism

On a loose confederacy of particles

Refracted and rippling waves of energy

Enough current bouncing around prisms

Takes on the appearance of solidity

Yet at once pulled out from under our feet

Established a fanatic dependence on illusion

Thought ultimately to vanish into nothingness and thus

Thoroughly convinced this deceptive construct

Exists so we shall consent to endless tyrannies

Unable to denounce them as such

Cross dressing as they do in Liberty’s robes

Ridiculously unable to pass were not the bulk of us

Complicit in kowtowing to this lewd, lascivious Empire.

 

[35]

Fall, some ten odd years ago,

Marked an important transition in this life of mine

When first I left home in New Mexico

To attend school in Ohio

Pretentious enough to be studying poetry

Which one does not just do

Unless coming from some degree of wealth as I did

The wannabe scholar has no need to contend with debt

While those without such means however

Despite any natural talents on their part

Exceptional vision or sensitivity let’s say

Nevertheless would commit some egregious error

Involving themselves in the usurious game of loans

Slaves to the financial system

Necessity from then dictates their life path

Barricading the way towards personal growth

Aligning their productivity ever discreetly

Only with what serves established power

Unpopular opinion never entering into mind

What, with too much contrived reality to contend with,

Ignorance is always closer to bliss

Than any step towards enlightenment

Not to mention that rebellion

Far more than villainy even

Brings ruin disproportionate to reward.

 

[36]

Might we come to realize love of wisdom

Doesn’t correlate well

with strivings for academic status?

Dare we suggest all hierarchical structures

dependent on lip service from below

Ease of power application from above

Operate according to interconnected

principles that taken as one

Serve interests antithetical to σοφία?

Questing for status serves not ego alone

But what ego establishes within the pyramid’s capstone—

Separation of component entities into individualities serving

Selves serving the dominant individual in a conglomerate

A revolving pinhead dictating eternal terms

Opposed to the nature of cosmic assembly

Conducting torrential waves of those

crazed with ambitions to power

Scrambling all over each other’s shoulders and heads

Mashing the ever growing

ever sinking mass of flesh in perpetuity

Like stewed carrots on a stick

Raised in brief apotheosis

To power vanishing quicker than next mounts the next

Scratching at the ceiling floor beneath

what above expands ad nauseam

Panopticon within panopticon like Matryoshka dolls

At the absolute center of which an actually

transcendent object exists

However bound within a chamber of mirrors,

Inversion of that object, perceptual manipulations are cast,

Forming the bricks and bars that inform

our mortar and pedestal ground.

 

[37]

If I can recall, just exactly the way I first met him,

Memories on the lead up to Halloween

swirl around like the fallen leaves

And inexplicably we almost gravitate

towards each other

Both flying solo inside a crowd of revelers,

Unstuck from time, or so dangerously becoming.

Val was a tall, skinny bloke, blonde and beat,

in torn jeans and a blue bandana

Who seemed a relative somehow by soul virtue

or else significantly

Not of this mundane world of tapping kegs

Bombing exams and trying to get laid.

I would find out later that rather than attend university

the guy was a dumpster diving

Environmental activist who had been to jail

more than a couple of times

Although not just from instances of civil disobedience

And was part of a circle of poets

that revolved around the Camel Café.

Had we not met so inexplicably I reckon

Connections existing between us were such that

Would have guaranteed our continued acquaintance

Across many lifetimes, I suspect—

All branched out of a common stalk which

Coils around itself while itself unravels,

Novelty increasing exponentially

the points of resonance

Where we had met, and would continue to meet,

again and again.

 

[38]

These memories continue to swirl around

In the windy mind, kaleidoscopic almost,

And there I am on Halloween, just dropped acid—

Dressed as John Lennon with roundish

spectacles and shaggy hair

In plain changshan evoking Sergeant Peppers

Probing quite the peculiar mental space

And peaking somewhere in the guts

of crowded festivities—

Suddenly starring me straight on

were two circular frames

My own reflection swirling around

with prisms of light

Inside shrinking back into the void

To face my psychedelic Queen.

“Pearl” to those who knew,

Taken for gospel truth

on the instance she spoke

In that husky voice which resounded through

the sinewy waves of my soul,

Rippling over groves etched into

our fibrous being like vinyl,

At precisely then, like time had folded inwards,

Sucked to the center of its origin, I realized;

We exist simultaneously within

the future and the past,

And presently further all happenings not

by some grand, prefigured purpose

But simply from the nondualistic

mechanism of causality,

Acting effectively as a result of the forces

one enacts upon one’s self.

 

[39]

In the middle of all of this

Beginning and ending

as inverse qualities

Therein unable to deny as such

What seemed the convergence

of every

Significant milestone in my life

like points along a stream

Flowing to and from the same

bottomless source

This pearl stroked her lips

with two fingers,

Words being still some alien

concept within our minds,

While around the starry image

she almost

Burrowed into my retina,

along the edges of perception

Melting away like film caught in

an antique projector

Eternity beyond swirling like a

perpetual, blossoming

External interiority, astonishing

not simply to behold

As distinctions between subject

and object disintegrated,

At a view from this process

of being viewed

With one drawn in by some

kind of contrived

Magnetism. ‘Oh, hi, John.’ Unable

to tear the eyes away

From the horrifically round,

inanimately kinetic,

Petrifying image of Moon.

Suddenly feeling the searing

imprint of a ring in

Between the eyes, just above the

nose, practically boring in.