N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 3 : S p e c i a l E d i t i o n
L o n g P o e m M a s t e r p i e c e s o f t h e P o s t b e a t s
For Rachel McDavid
In this wine, take delight,
my bright baby faced sun.
Your fire floods the furrows broad and long,
soft radiance rises
to buffer the brightening high.
Your path is lined in holy fire
Your step leaves only carbon behind
Your wine longs to warm you,
it hastens to your hands, seeking relief
from its bulging udder.
Bloodshot man get right with this large world,
Sing a song to Sarasvati.
through today and tomorrow
well treasured world.
Light goes before us
and a strong wind
urges us onward
through the crowded moment.
The years burn around us.
The last breath escapes the field
onboard the last time
they said our name.
The giant ledger’s methodical hunger
compels modest goals. Work don’t bend too much,
even though time itself is culled from miracles.
Work ploughs its furrow across
years weirdly enriched by labor’s limitations.
Engineering the language, wringing perception
from lines, visceral rhapsodic fervors
seeking a piston driven epiphany.
Noun fractures noun in the jagged jumping line.
Words collide on the stained page
and leap from high synaptic ledges
on new syntactic quests.
The radical awe pulsing the instincts
of my funny head habit.
high piles of fruit greet and gladden you
and waken your intelligence, Sarasvati.
swaying branches call me back
to where the darkness had fully fallen,
and fish broke the surface of the blank page;
swelled yellow and dimmed
above the cricketing field.
Praise stains opulence on everything. Her mouth
ladles the grass with tears and radiance.
Inflamed, she issues
the new year’s fields, new piping corridors,
and yet, her pin ever punctures these inflated repetitions.
Worship the objective world, make space for what sparkles,
and clear darkness to trace its light.
Her narrowing flute leads on fainter and fainter.
Our fathers, our mothers
once barbers and midwives and cops and killers
now twisting in history. Trapped in stories
they cautiously and callously created
in this wild exotic form
ever lapsing toward obscurity.
Gray ones beyond the terror at the end of the path
demand blood, crave wine, accept tears.
Throbbing radiations from pains
as elegant as the beauty they bury.
That distant silence
bright with flames
will warm you.
A promise and a wink.
Sarasvati drink the soma!
Nebulous tatters adrift in a rust red October day
run just ahead of my grip at a glimpse.
The earthy air, warm as peat,
savory as onions in the dark moist soil.
Running hungers urge under a message,
under red leaves in the field,
a shard of light afloat in the dark energy
as that last missing part
of the radiant ordinary.
Tracks speed under the train,
stillness sails the iron forward.
Smooth velocity, the sun speeds
from its airy ocean of light
toward a darkness it can dawn on
every minute on the day.
The years accelerate in blurring velocities.
Don’t kid yourself; it’s a dangerous place to live.
The dry sun drinks up his misty morning
and eats his roasted day.
Muggy afternoons swallow
all the day breaking Mondays
from Alpha till the end of August.
Sky high, the blue-black night is on the rise.
Manhattan’s talling towers reflect
the dying day’s riotous fire
roils wild across the world.
Those miles and miles gift wrap
the ordinary rewards of being still.
Bay steeds bright as suns keep taking me here.
Waves crashing. Tales of the other shore.
The day’s snapping whip drips dream honey.
Fresh from the sea or the sky
comes up from sleep.
raising light bright against the dawn,
from sunrise and sunset
to the ends of the earth,
footprints on the air.
The broad sure sky. The roofless shelter.
[Originally published in Big Scream #50, Nada Press, 2012. Used by permission of the author.]
James Ruggia attended Naropa University. He published New Blood magazine, an important earlier postbeat platform, in the 1970s and 80s, and served as editor of the St. Marks Poetry Project Newsletter in 1985-86. He has been a travel trade writer for more than 25 years and written about almost 90 countries. His blog, TravelandPoetry, offers intersections between art, history and poetry.