Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Point Of Flames

     Most people most of the time don't get the point. They don't get it because they're too busy brooding about the past or worrying about the future. But the real Point is only, and always, in this immediate, unrepeatable instant--here, and now.

                          THE POINT

     what's the point    that's how I feel this morning    facing the not quite blank computer screen    what's the point of struggling to wrestle    coax    conjure these words into a work of art which few will read and even fewer care about?    if I stop now    balked by the price of commitment    what could it matter?    why do I come back again and again to the same departure point    forced always to start over from scratch?

     except    there's a point I haven't reached yet    a truth so clear    so simple    my words would finally grow transparent    their meaning's incandescent core blaze through    I know I'll never attain such perfection    but if I stop trying I'll shrivel up inside    I'm not just a thing or process but a sort of breathing window    a living prism angled to refract the rarest wavelengths of Light

     I'm also a troubled creature who's slipping and sliding toward death    whatever the point is    this too is part of it    both eternity and time are part of it -- two worlds reconciled only in the stringent play of paradox    facing a nearly filled computer screen I return once more to this day's essential labor    what's the point?    the point is the choice I make each unrepeatable instant to say yes    Yes


     "What is to give light must endure burning" wrote Victor Frankel. And Rabindranath Tagore wrote: "Evidently the only way to find the path is to set fire to my own life." Have you set fire to your own life yet?


    still haven't learned    when I touch fire it burns    still believe next time I'll have asbestos skin    or else the flames won't be scorching but cool like a lover's fingers caressing my face    we're always burned alive by something aren't we?    lust or rage or terror licks at our heart and we shudder    knowing we're defenseless    knowing we could sacrifice our last hope to that devouring inferno    adoring it    shameless as straw

     I'm a breathing bundle of flames searching for a braver reason to burn    I'll wind up crisped to a cinder anyway    the kicker is Why?    back and forth I waver    here and there    sampling this addiction    that obsession    dithering over a compulsion or two    I'm a magnetized compass needle    a vector lurching every conceivable wrong direction before surrendering to true north

     so there's burning    and there's burning    a burning that's slavery    a burning that's freedom    I've tasted both    I can tell you about temptation    possession's a vile old hag yet she knows just how to stroke me    such bitter ecstasy -- writhing in lava's oblivion!    but some other burning's grabbed hold of me now    the purging flame which consumes all ephemera    until nothing remains but my incandescent soul


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