So full of life even in the space around the plants and all that prickles our tender buttons – Buttons pushed I listen to you tube about Stein - I have a hard time reading her work but listening to people reading her and speaking about her work then she gets to me, through to me. So the desert becomes my cultural landscape with its loose arrangement of life and lifeless – both as good, as necessary, open, dangerous, fractured in grandiose unity. Desert is a word, a word pointing to sand rock plant and the size of land. Can the word paint or point, refer, represent, not yet I know the names of all the rocks and all the tints of beige rust brown... Stein get very close to representing through her words.
Dry raging floods have passed, disturbing, changing, sifting grains of sand. Desert is a language I don’t fully know nor understand. I know not fully in my foolishness cactus, cat claw, mesquite rosemary, Joshua tree, creosote, shifting sands, rocks, dead branches supporting life, yet I have my garden weeded on the edge, branching off of thoughts dead ends, barbed wire concentration camps. Tracks, traces, tramping of feet, paws, always change changing and dangerous beauty not reflecting in dry raging living. The separation of being alive in an alive changing place – standing still alive in an alive changing place – wandering thoughts among the standing still. Buttons pushed should be joyful – fearless, light, befriending slipping shadow – in the desert- not through the desert, over, next to --- just in the desert is a home –
The long days of friends, talk and walk relentless repetition of 23 years, two ears. All town yard sale- bought a peace sign made by a city hippie, signaling, signing my intent. In this small town no treasure hunt, no treasures to be found but sharing, but loneliness on the dry air. Books, reading, absorbing Modpo 2014, drinking it all thirstily, parched as I am. Where is the world – In a book, in Tender Buttons – under desert blues and skies – No color but rock and sand under cerulean skies, sands sifting lies –
Dan knows a bit about water, water pipes and repairing. He knows all about the civil war – traces his heritage back to decorated men and mostly unknown women – women giving birth after seven months, burying husbands and children. He knows about black powder, Harley’s, selling his to stay afloat - - - floating desert, mirages of trembling sun of airy words which don’t want to settle, sink in, in the soul – His loneliness pointing at drowning in dry sand.
The dark inhabitance of desert nights. Stars. The sun reflecting on the moon and the dark inhabitance of timid thought spreading, spreading in dark drunken flow. The secret plenitude of the loneliness of words when Stein's difference is spreading in sound, accent, un-pointing to reference or meaning yet meaningful – Desert my abstract painting, un-resembling. Words embracing a dry wash.
The desert is the desert, not resembling anything but itself. This is occupation. My occupation, deranging, pitting word against object. The desert distance separates, rearranges, reappearing strangely orderly, in its permanence of occupation. The Dickinson desert gathering paradise... for occupation this, decidedly different than Stein. Gertrude Stein gets an inspiration – This – This is – This is sand, circling in the wind, wind circling sands. This is – this is morning – this is evening – here is sand - where is the sandman.
So much depends upon a dry wash
So I am sand
The difference disappearing
in a grain of life –
Influenced by Dickinson and Stein after looking at the desert for 23 years, noticing its rhythmic changing work of water and wind, of time passing into now again – The desert always differentiating in its collapsing washes, the mysterious lake after the monsoon in the repetitive rearrangement of the element of wood-herbs-sand-stone-plant-bone. The desert, a home for now, changing me as I write about the flow rearranging grains of sand.
For lack of words of gratitude,
Thuesday October 7