The Daily Art Source

Ivan Arguelles

ῥῶ (Rome)

a voice the color of smoke issuing

from the caverns of sleep

     back to the woman in the window

         back to recognizing what is not known

a river runs between it and everything else

memory dividing itself between white and blank

sheer river between blank and white memory

running a divide and hove to the javelin

aiming straight for the animal whose career

is the length of sleep between it and everything else

animal burrowing into the sands of an anterior life

aimed the javelin straight and HOY! a cry

waking in demise the dreamer of dreams

whose afternoon was spent in the eternity of silk

carmine red abusive indigo clouds bunting

hemmed in by a certain fear and aimed hand straight

the javelin for the animal truant fleeing eyes

the myriad unfolding in the single petal roseate

a dew drop formation of secret alphabets

and hastening the minute territory of opium

coursing through the river dividing white from blank

the rest is a woman an outline in Greek shadowed

on plate glass and the furniture hooded and drowsy

I spent hours in the concentricity of her absence

heated eventualities of a dialogue which occurs

somewhere in the pit of the unseeing organ

vast and trembling jellies of space the horror

of the vacuum interrupted by the unerring hand

that aims in its boundless youth the missile

straight for the holy beast and talking all the time

to strife and envy and the guardians of mortal skin

singing as it were as whizzing the bolt flies unerring

in its aim at the heart of the divine beast thought

it is treachery working this poem through its transcript

not naming what should be known and the restless

in their sleep of dread and oracular mouths at the ear

reciting endless logarithms about the time it takes sand

to pass backwards into the river that divides everything else

a hand a switch on the wall a reflection in a small water

grass to the side of the house in the shade of infinity

where insects carve worlds out of a clod of dirt

and within a blind bard chants the supines and gerundives

of an idiom spoken inside mountains and wings

take flight and the mind is a buzz with hives of wrath

a blade of light that cuts through the apex and whelms

cataracts of an insanely transparent fluid

and so much more that cannot be rightly remembered

sitting here on the transept that overlooks the abyss

and listening to the rope tell its tale and the weft and

so much more that is being forgotten even as it is

being transcribed even as it is being transcribed

and the ends of things and the worm at the very center

devouring the fable of silence

does light never take place again?

tiny mouths Phlegethon

“love her madly”


            Σίγμα (Sigma)

hissing oriental substratum

pray we to the Lord-of-Mice

hauling out our ships rounding

reefs of the unknown and shattering

bricks of memory turned sidewise on the loom

woof and quartered by some unseen Mind

the aggravation of light probing the seismic

how can we ever return to what we once were

legendary and summered by silks of shadow

talking the talk of the other side of the mountain

and issuing from caves and silos and the fountain

where dawn first announced its intention

why didn’t we listen instead of idling

with our motors and fauns fanning

the improbable oracular with syllables

torn from the bay leaf the goddess left us

why couldn’t we hear the imminent collapse

of our future in story and grammar

going back and forth over the rules of conjugation

the mindless syncopation of pronominal stems

juxtapositions of helium and verdant hours

spent unthinking on an earth dotted with disaster

shaken by a sudden tremor in the spine

nerves cut through by a menacing light

flares gone up over the olympian crest where Hephaistos

welded thunderbolts to the seamless cloudwork

high even higher above a deity with lizard eyes

set to our undoing by sending dreams of midday love

wine and the quivering pulse of the heated ivy

so that by the time the sails unfurled in the airless bay

and drunk or sated with endless foreplay

the girls had their sport with our careless bodies

days passed like minutes in that savage foliage

of sex and duplicity pledging unending eros

to victims of illusion and shadow that passed through

us like sieves their delusional but powerful rouge

capsized the crater of thoughts fell into the steep water

darkening for a minute the pellucid surface

for us to wake on the other shore ten years hence

grizzled knotted puzzling over the loose threads

and in our ears the egyptian sistra and cymbal

the tom-tom beat of cardiac irregularity

was this the concussion of Beauty?

was this the storm on the distant Pleiades?

was this what they meant by the Key of Delta?

every day is equidistant from death

the weeks we thought were sessions of eternity

born in the grass and lengthened by the cicada’s song

that was just the flash of consciousness

between the ear of waking and the ear of passing

what are words in this hypnomachia?

thunder distance and levitation

divine dreams of the person holding the weapon

sleep walking through the maze of false intentions

come crashing irreversible citadels monuments of dust

orients of sigmatic mystery climbing the trellis of the sun

into the apogee of a lifetime lived in a minute

wondering whatever for this instamatic photograph

taking in all the living dead under one umbrella

exchanging masks and names and thought patterns

elaborating sacrificial rites serpents white oxen

enormous stones erected at the behest of the oracle

watching blood and sperm alike fall like rain

over the cadaverous silence of the day after

when the remains of stone and sand linger

adrift on the celestial sea of alone

pray we to the Lord-of-Mice

Apollo himself who shines on these ruins

for love of poetry and song and the Beautiful

and never ending myth of Light