[from Lori Anderson's Cultivating Excess, Eighth Mountain, 1992]
Bailey's boot grease warmed on the back burner.
My fingers dipped into the hot belly of the can --
anointed, then taken first to the black tongue
that bears the wounds of restraint, of laces taut
to keep the boot from being swallowed
by mud of a forest in which it might rather stay
(more so there with mosses than in a closet,
more so than on my foot walking it to sure death).
O that these moments in hand would be enough
to mend with mink oil the scars of misstepping.
I'd end this, bed you down in a soft bog
if not for work and want of woods to walk.
But you are not without recourse, you hard heel.
"If I only knew how to disappear, there would be perfect
union of love between God and the earth I treat, the sea I
-- Simone Weil
The landscape lacked nothing except Simone Wheel
(she be ideal, she be idea, she be I-dead)
lacked nothing save perhaps a sax.
So, in whimsy, I hiked her back. Baby
this here is Buck Mt. -- one big riff between
God's earth & God's water. I tried not to be
flippant, but. . . . she be
dead-I, she be invented-I. Weil,
explain this: union is between
God & ________. Earth-I is deadly?
Put your hand here: feel my beating, my breathing. Baby,
you didn't really want to live with so little sex --
little syllogisms your sax.
At the summit, when waterscapes began being
a full skirt about us, I turned to name a baby
pond, her very clit, to make her wheel.
She disappeared. Who was I to disturb the deadness,
the roar of heaven / earth, the union between
creator / creation between idea / I-dead between
the rift the rift? Oh that iphigenial sax
sucks. I tinwhistled "I-deal-dead-
I" all the way down to a motorboat being
revved up. I begged to be a water wheel
buoyant like in a dreamsong that babies.
Last night, I got Bulgarian women with bambinos
singing a bandito-I-I-I-I, a harmony between
sleep and wake, distortion disappearing like Weil.
I was smug and keenly aware of sex.
My walk had a wiggle the way I wanted Weil to be --
so her authority, her annihilation would lose its deadening
pull on me. Weil, I will not be saxoned
into scalding my feet or forgetting to eat.
Between the sea-I-hear & the girls-I-kiss, my sax
and me sing: If a genie, I owe I owe. If be genie, I owe.