For Ric Williams: The cloud people are called Longhairs. They are poets of liquid language. Beautiful in their every lining. The foil is how they touch/talk/take/turn spin/spit/span/spark...burn. Their risk is fierce fire; one rare, bare glimpse, just one, just barely. It's a liquid language, eye to ear, a radiance. It's a hard thing, a hard thing to take; an even harder thing to make...but, I will try to make you this story.
when old man whistles -stephanie pope
trois freres
God of the cave, Les Trois Fréres

I have a deer-bone whistle
old man made it
the deer dance
made it make the man
hollow so he would be filled with
the sound of it calling
itself into existence
He took the bone
from the pile. The
gods left the scraps
and from this remnant face
he hollowed the trace
gods leave in their leavings
into the bone.
He wrapped one end of it
with sinew and a thin sound
when you blow on it.
Blows deepening into death old age
which, when you do,
in the thin places
soothes the old man, too.
You see, I'm dreamin' 'bout
things through a dreamy embryo
just now. It's long-bodied life
contains all of death as Death
knows Life--life...
is a seamless web
that has
no beginning
to its story.
In a dream like mine
the mask of death
carries the face of life
underneath it.
And, underneath
the dead are living
no more myth free
than we and we
living here are
really only merely
living these not so freely
deadly lives. A dog
is just as contained in its
myth as a small child.

Freely contained.
to be
to be
naturally. This
is the story
the deer-wind told
the old man
hollowing in the story
in the bone that
child of the wind
deeply contained
in the marrow of his life.
Beyond the marrow,
this memory shaped him
(from nothing) from
a drop, a tear
a liquid language...
eye to ear
that sound he heard
where no two things
in everything
were thundering. It was
a disparaging marriage.

precolumbian mask of death
pre-columbian mask of death
The poets have a say
speaking before
their words start speaking
that points to the trace
where the gods came and went
where the containers broke
and began leaking, where
everything went hollow and
the hollow grew from itself
pitched out of itself.
This second death embodies,
and, if one is fortunate enough
it happens first before
one dies. You see,
one dies in Death while yet alive
Death brings to life
a second life that has
no beginning; Mneme's
soul never dies, is what
makes in its passing through
that making-sound
making spirit
out of life
the poets have a say
(and some more
deeply say than others)
things fall apart and
there is nothing
containing us
even as it does.

(What a poet-one
that one having that say!)

Nothing material contains us.

So the myth we tell and think we
mean is not the myth of our making.
It is the myth we can never say
that does this, the one
living beyond the drives
and their articulations. That One
is the myth gathering us
into what we are.

It is That One we can never say.
The one that rises from beyond
through Mneme's other making
And suddenly, we
know ourselves.

We know ourselves from what it is which, in us, marks out these boundaries of differences in similars between what That One is and isn't in its living in us what lives between us fleshing/flashing/flourishing what it is like to be dog, to be child, to be free.

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