Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A North American Book of the Whiskered Dead: Omegawords's Death and Landfills



Jeff over at Omegaword writes quixotic little essays about the various metaphysical intrigues and quandaries of everyday life. Yesterday's post was "Death and Landfills," about death. landfills, and human hair. I began a poem as a response to and appreciation of his work. Here is the first bit of my continuing poem. Please when you're done reading it, recycle or reuse it.


HAIR TODAY


for Jeff Hawkins


1.

I am a wild one
(We are wild ones)

I razed the hairs of our wild face
with names from the telephone book

mailed them
each to a different voice

there is a beard that is of our face
that is of this city

a beard like a river of mail
moving over the streets and porches

feline as twilight or as ash
outliving death
and the smoothfaced stars


2

as a child
I was a tree
in a clearcut forest

as a forest
the stubble of parents
shared a face with my friends

the stars are holes in the receiver of night
listen:

the hairs of the planets growing
the godbeard of night
shaking out its owls and dark angels
its evening calls to loved ones
and death


3

an emergency

the dental work
the moon shapes
the lichen
the shopping carts
the kaballah of the beard

the armchairs
the pumpkin eater
the stamp collection
the cheese grater
the surround sound of the beard

the sacred text
the Fujiyama
the giant face of bees
which is the beard
on the face of time

on the earth’s baby face
its trees
and mailboxes
its razorblade of stars and cochlea
its mail carriers
its undertow of discount flyers and freemasons
is urgent
like the hairs of the beard growing
inside the mouth
“bats in a cave,” we say.
“bats in a cave.”

maybe not an emergency
but an emergence




*

Image from A Practical Guide and Manual for Human Hairs

3 comments:

Eccentric Scholar said...

So many great lines! My favorite image is probably "the beard on the face of time."

Jeff said...

Thank you, Gary! It's an unexpected surprise indeed, and evokes the audio portion of spoken-word gigs in coffee houses frequented by the Beat Generation, who applauded with their fingers. Or so I'm told; I was knee-high to a fetus at the time.

But snap snap snap snap snapple snap snap just the same . . .

the hairs of the planets growing
the godbeard of night
shaking out its owls and dark angels


. . . especially with those three lines in mind. Truly amazing.

Eccentric Scholar said...

Jeff is right:

the hairs of the planets growing
the godbeard of night
shaking out its owls and dark angels


Utterly amazing! And by amazing I mean as good as or better than any literature I've read all year.