A Poem for José by Ivan Argüelles

JOSÉ : THE LAST DAYS (an excerpt)

“entre el ojo y el objeto, un mar: el mundo, deshaciendose”
                                         David Huerta, Incurable 

this is the month the gamble was called in
or strictly speaking the rains or half of them
for which the mountain was no more visible
and light which riddles matter lost center
what is off course and darkness in the leaf
                           consulted the I Ching daily
faulty axis of the universe unwinding burning
drank glasses of smoke charging the maze
blindly acceding to the unicorn in the tapestry
green as new grass or untasted mint
           I come from a different world
           and of different stuff am I made       
what the eye conceives and what it sees
two different things a world no longer in contact
with itself and decomposition in the air
           does glass decay ?
does what is written on the bone last longer ?
and the sun at its height is called what ?
zeta is not the last letter and does not forebode destruction
all out war between principles of light and dark
the smallest character the iota subscript
challenges the universal cosmetics system
lunar shadings rust entropy failed mechanics
to read what is in the reflection
and to not understand to misinterpret
is to drown utterly the brain in its cage
each day now is a day out of time
one does not supersede the other
but is a cumulation of the whole
no longer is divisibility a possibility
but all things combined in a single jewel
fastened to the enormous ellipse of space
and what is budding anew sprouting
like thoughts on the moon’s other side
is the last facet of the cosmos
the feminine side sheer as water
shimmering rippling and inapprehensible
once stepped in one will never step again
it is what can never be spoken the afternoon
when death with her white Sicilian face
steps out of the ionosphere
there is a noise quite like no other
silence erupting out of its vast ether
saying something like
           I come from a different world
           and of different stuff am I made       
… to follow the rules a grammar of color
the nets cast on the lake at Patzcuaro
bring in not fish but images of fish
parti-colored bright transparent as quartz
how many thousands of years old
and using the electric voice of my father
drill commands to the various planets out of focus
to carry out the message of deathlessness
winged things invisible but loud as radios
swarming the room a great sense of relief
one is at home with Hindu schemes of life
of the vegetation underfoot wearing the little faces
of the colonized or the vagrant shade
that assumes the static demarcation of the gods
flitting ambiguities that inundate the library
and so far I have not gotten past the 9th grade
where the Pyramid of the Sun erects its geometry
in the sleeping visions between goal posts
come home !
                            I cannot, Mother , I simply cannot
and I exchange verdigris for the whiteness
that radiates around the supernal body
I am only an aura now a spiritual nothingness
walking the distance between Mind
and its replacement somewhere in the suburbs
of San Angel or Xochimilco
stone can only generate stone
the hand wielding the painter’s brush
begins to know
                                  who is the other
what perfection there is in the ring of circles
the mandala in which all the universes occur
with their distinct and numberless hells
there is a shape somewhere in the throbbing air
that will come and receive this breath
           I come from a different world
           and of different stuff am I made 

between the eye and the object, a sea: the world, disintegrating


The foregoing poem published here courtesy of Ivan Argüelles.

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