도둑 (the thief)

i have had affecting dreams for a long time. in case any one is interested there is an entire section on my blog of dream analyses i wrote over a 1 year period, some 40 or so here.

i used to be sure they meant something & though they remain a difficulty for me, something i can’t accurately correlate with reality as experienced in the 4 dimensional reality we exist inside, i can’t quite shake that they are possibly just nonsense, but if they have a synchronous relationship with reality as existed within, as i have experienced, then it really shakes up what reality is & the relationship with our subtler minds; the meaning of which has profound implications for us. i am less prone to lunging at what i want to believe & more critical, something to do with age no less, but still an open mind persists if only because i have no explanation for the arising of certain dreams & their eventual reality. insane as it sounds it has happened a couple of times to me.

this piece may seem mere fancy, but it came from an actual dream, on an actual island, under an actual pagoda, in the actual summer. i have been pruning this one for a while now & finally just had to say, done. hope you enjoy it.

도둑

i seem always to be excessive tired these days, a mix of sun
& snafu. so when i laid my bare head down
on the veined pagoda boards, i began to sleep.
the milky sky diminished the afternoon’s sound & scent
except the almost bird-like chirp
that stridulates from grassy embassies of Gryllidae.
the solid, familiar, ordinariness of treated pine
is no longer a physical nor aesthetic discomfort
: my bones all worn in with work & 선불교;
they parallel instinctively the latitudes of wood & so i dreamt

: a shadow nicked my sandals, though, i gave no care.
in its phantom pose i read its hunger for nerve gristle
& tissues past their sell by date
to turn to mulch, to make them mushy as wet
bread. i walked the spine of the old fortress wall
Myeongwol pagoda’s built upon, looked for sharp chunks
of stone like fleshless knuckles to bunt
& crack my toes; walked through red chili fields
& rubbed the spicy seeds between my toes, broke,
raw & rubicund with fresh gashes & grazes i’d assembled.

in bald fields full of the skeletons of bird & rodent
i ground bleached bones like grains
with the black n’ blue, seeping soles of my feet,
let the wounds empty dye on brittle ribs & spines.
i took that long route to the light-
house, over the cobbled headland, beyond the stones
in pecking order to twist ankles with uncommon regularity
that slip underfoot if steps are not took cautiously;
where waves break into bouquets of gypsum
& fearful sea roach scuttle from a sense of doom.

i made it though, to where handfuls of stones are piled
into miniature models of ziggurats.
it was night by then, or had never not been night,
so i switched the beam on in the tower, affixed it
on the chugging ocean harvesting the shore,
in hope i’d guide lost porpoises to land
so they might ease the burden on my tendered soles.
i’d done my utmost to take the roughest routes,
to snap my tools for getting a-b, distressed my cells
in hope i’d spite that cynical shade- old foe of man;

the gross misfortune paired to us nor science nor faith
is able to dispel. because it cannot breathe,
nor bleed its agony of lacerations, bruise
& break: this was my only method for teaching it to realize
it has no life but the one we let it have.
the capsized melody of porpoise
lyric gurgles & clitters pillaged vocab of the sea;
a school of spiracles that came to loose
their long drawn syllables of song, came & took me
out with the dawn tide to wash my sanguine soles.

& so beyond complaint i took myself & into pity
for that shadow, as it never turns upon itself to see its beauty.

(선불교 seonbulgyo, is the Korean word for Zen Buddhism.
all photographs by me).

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, I say this is your best poem so far. So rich, so touching, its like surrealist painting with words, stepping into a dream.This needs to have a place on the menu bar.

    1. It has something of surrealism as dreams were one of the prime springboards for surrealists. My dreams are often absurd. I could write a very long book of poems about my dreams but it seems like cheating so i limit myself to ones that leave an impression.

      1. I feel that it is because they are unconventional that makes it uniquely vivid and excellent. Anyone who thinks too logically would not be able to paint this with words-it just won’t flow.

      2. That is very important in dream poems: the flow. If you read this poem out loud you get rushed through, it sort of skips. There is also a loose, slant rhyme scheme to give a nuance of melody. My scansion is indebted to Hart Crane, his pace is astounding.

      3. It is very well crafted, so subtly intricate. Again, I recommend a place on the menu bar for this poem.

      4. Thanks for your feedback as always. I’d like it to have a home in a good journal. These days I’m so lazy, i haven’t been sending much off.

      5. I recommend you create a pdf version and publish this on Archive.org, so that there would be one additional copy.

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