It was never mentioned why the princess was placed upon the top of the
glass mountain, or how she might descend. The red mouth of the river
gone astray, hair torn asunder; she walks across the heavens slowly,
leaving us for the noon. A simple sweep or curve of concentration. At
each portal, an ornament was removed, her robes and garments, a girdle
of birthstones. The taught tide across dark eyes, as if rhythm were flowers
in their motionless sound. It was she who played upon the zither. Plucked
with a plectrum. She carried a spyglass, tossed by waves. A rope
of seaweed around her waist.
Girls wrapped in towel gowns stood on the shore. Threads of destiny
were said to be visible, fastening a wrist to an image. These tasks which I
set aside cannot remain undone. Where do shoulders bare their own
inferences? They are upon me as minstrels draw the blinds of heavy eyes,
as trepidation draws a cord around a neck or an arm ties a sash. And that
trembling room into which you wake has also a curtained side. I cannot
describe why it is that the task never ends, but only that it is beyond the
discipline of movement or breath in the sense that it bids me. There is no
date to speak of. No appointments are willing to venture.
Again I ask the oracle in order to be reminded of my simple coordinates.
If I stand in this underlined doorway, there is a place where my feet press
into wood, and yet this cannot name the figure, or by what rule it may
move. In the manner of a cloudburst influence may wane. A lake has risen
not to rest upon virtue. Nine in the second place means arms at evening
and at night. Molting, the pelt of an animal. The younger daughter is
above. Set the calendar in order and make the seasons clear. The bone I
leave isn’t left.
The silence was longitudinal, the way water has no color but reflects. The
way a nameless radiance is touched simultaneously with all parts of the
body, invisibly. How many letters would I write each day in order to send
my thoughts? Fire is the quickest of animals. Which direction has January
fled? I woke early to worry. Not to say that I wish I had stopped to
gather some of the fallen branches of the cherry. And yet to trim a tree in
flower is a violation of the laws of beauty. If you respond within a
The notion of descent from trees has been almost lost sight of. Her
grandchildren were farthings. Smaller than the needle of a compass, and
clearly pointed. Even so, prosperity is still linked with the well being of the
tree. Weeds have been worshiped. Corn offered to the blind. Snowdrop,
fair maid of February, the fruit of the ash. The earliest gods were rock and
mountain. And temples formed by shadow.
A hollow tree overhanging a pool is a place of unborn oracles. Bury flour
in the course trunk of an oak. This brings prosperity, so reads the fortune
of doves. Linden twine was tied to guests at feasts to prevent intoxication.
A copper kettle later, this rag which is called courage. I summoned myself
to curtsey. Despite the looming thoughts of stray nimble birds. No less a
fly caught in amber. Tree parentage. Pelopiadae descended from plane.