Monday, June 4, 2007


But maybe I have a solution--why others find sex in my work and I do not: It came from an artist who called on me recently…he said, in effect, that I had seen natural forms with such intensity, with such direct honesty, that a tremendous force, like sex, which enters into it, permeates all nature, could not but be revealed.
--Edward Weston

walking at forty-one you are aware of light. you wait to go out until the sun has hidden behind the edge of the hills so that the boughs of trees are illuminated in great swaths of gold, and the birds skip among the branches, light striking their wings like fire. You are aware that you are not the person you thought you would be, you are certain you will know less and less as the days go by about who you really are, because the questions come faster than the answers, each one tugging at the threads of the self you have painstakingly stitched over the years. It’s okay, because there is more outside to notice, you are less concerned with the unfamiliar face staring back at you in the mirror than with the light, and the dreams that might emerge shyly once you learn to sleep again.

At thirty-eight you had written: begin with this image: spirits laundering the shrouds of the soon-to-be dead (p. 46) unknown vol. I came here to name the things that disappear--the grasslands and coyote that populate the landscape inside my right eye--here you could sink the blade deep, the earth would gasp with the memory of rough hands that caressed the rump of an old roan, a horse you loved. In my left eye lives longing and desire, syllables cast upon the ground like sticks and gathered up again for kindling. The left eye would start a prairie fire and watch it burn, sacrificing everything it loves to the skin beneath those hands.

writing at forty-one, there is no more shouting, only whispering. It is time to learn to listen.