Essay on Increase
The time of increase does not endure. —I Ching
Winter starts with little snow. Once the river freezes
your floating boat will also stop. Little snow’s growing
power. Little snow can change you. Can friend you,
like the Little Prince. Diseased river, its little sacrificial
godness, grotesque angel carved into the miserable snow.
Other planets are in bloom. Your sinking boat will stop
sinking. The tulips will be in bloom there. Bullet holes
will be blooming in Heaven, on little stars and galaxies,
in the distant past where my virginity drifts as a moth
in the sun. The year of the Dragon, and of Neptune
whose distractions are primeval. The constellation of the horse
who threatens lyric poetry. The constellation of the most ancient
goddesses. The frozen river arrested here at the start of the year.
It furthers one to cross this great water. Where the bullet pierced
it the boat’s tears turn to pearls of ice. The planet Neptune’s
future crossing over the great constellation of oceanic feeling.
The feral mothers have always been famous and dirty.
Thank you God for everything. Love is the bone and pearl
of my feminine survival, I’m not scared. You must sacrifice
a little aesthetic leverage to deal with this new kind of weather.
On the deck of the boat the future’s in terrible conflict, terrible
bullets. Bells will toll and curse, or ring the weather in or birth.
Now’s the perfect opportunity to decide. Clouds will rock
and suffer the menopausal moon its scarlet blossom. I love horizons
strewn with temptation. I notice the constellation of the prince
waylaid by barefoot servants, and the night is ever cold and roars.
Sin might be another word for Song. All of Rome could freeze over.
Every mother is full of grace, she is full of holes. O mea culpa
Father, mea corpus. O tower my tower. O river. It furthers one to cross
without artifice. There are zeros to hatchet in little holes—you
can see how bullet is one letter away from ballet and how the wound
in the little boat freezeframes the angel at the threshold of history.
You dread exit and its obstacles. I point to the constellation
of the High Priestess radiant between poles. The new year’s mirror
fogged and hoary up there. Poles of the nothing that binds. You
as much as I remain strange, almost blank, under the frosty transit.
There are many here among us helplessly exposed in the virgin
tundra as the year quietly births behind the sun. Meanwhile
Mars points directly at our faces but we don’t know why. I never
dreamed I’d require a bird dress, or that so many dragons had piled
up at the threshold. Our father has become a hole we fall through
like time. I might make believe a ghoul, but I didn’t make the world.
Words carry soul between us. The world creaks across. We aren’t like
the boat and are forced to move along. We search for the most
magnificent door in the fairy tale. We weren’t born in prison, but I feel
criminal in these feathers, and molt a little sacrifice. Between
poles, or towers, we recall how everything has happened once
again. I have a little tower. I’m of some twin constellations. In my
tower I keep the moon inside a pot and stand very still. I’m trying
to summon the gentle wind, the arousing thunder. You can see
how people might be tempted to dance and sin. But dance is only
one more away from Dante, who another path did take. We must
make ourselves at home with natural disaster. Every little word is
a person, we must behold those ancestors to increase song between
us. In my tower I trace starlines on the far side of the sky. It furthers
one to increase on the side of mercy. What is exorcised from capital
gains wings. It furthers one to drift between towers. The cosmos
show us the beautiful and damned always only making meaning
out of thin air. The story of being a day old, all in one piece. Not quite
empty. Still casual. Anyone’s guess. If only I had a California I could make
at home. If only the past centuries had been better. California’s nearly
Cassandra, who was raped by all the kings of Rome. Her prophecies
greet us frozen in time, like Rapunzel who waits and waits. We
must further. Here’s a certain threshole—a window, parted draperies,
glowing eyes watching distantly in the sky. A pair of dark wings.
—For Sarah Caflisch, 1 January 2012