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Two Poems

Letter One

Letter Forty Five


from 'Letters To Early Street'


Dear Demian,             this
               is not the first one or even the beginning—
Early Street doesn't have a when.
It doesn't begin, "Perhaps I shall practice being
dead to the world ..." How dead to the world of
sensation, thought, idea is — I am not my idea
so perhaps I shall practice being
dead to the world — word, which is all idea, as one
practices knitting, guitar, medicine, or poetry
for that matter an unattached ecstatic
rather affectionately yours.
For Halloween I am spirit dressed up as matter, dead
to the world of sensation (lank, bristling,
vacantly quenched).
I discover letter one will not escape
its singularity, the womb
looms always in my yearning. This
is the thought I'm not and yet I write
with craving — a watershed, a womb, a wreath
on manzanita at my finger tips. There is ink
in the wreath of manzanita scrawling
upon the clouds who blur up the sweat-drenched sun —
now just a pile of weepy ash defining the wind, masked
as your thinking, the womb. So everyday I practice
this knitting with flame — ice-skate across eyeballs, strum
the double yellow lines, strung
across Early Street's dual-string asphalt guitar —
nurtured by this absence of when,
this song that reveals how it doesn't begin
or end with being dead to sensation's wind.

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