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death and burial


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's Been A While

since anyone would hitch their hem hereside; what got into you?

Never mind, a body in the river’s no worse’n one coming loose

in the ground. Not the worst of any saint you could mention didn’t

have his time of trial, his lowering of lights, his slipping by

in the evening where once he’d’ve trailed you on his arm like

the very spirit of hallowed youth, going crazy, going down.

This meditation knows no boundary. This darkness knows

my name is Denis Johnson, and knows where

to slip the tithe in.

--R Skogsberg


Michele said...

I love "This darkness knows my name is Denis Johnson," but I can't get my mind to come up with the phrase it echoes.
Somewhere else, I recently read this phrase: "watching Denis Johnson not drink."
Cool blog, Rickster.

Rick Skogsberg said...

NOW by Denis Johnson
(from The Incognito Lounge)

Whatever the foghorns are
the voices of feels terrible
tonight, just terrible, and here
by the window that looks out
on the waters but is blind, I
have been sleeping,
but I am awake now.
In the night I watch
how the little lights
of boats come out
to us and are lost again
in the fog wallowing on the sea:
it is as if in that absence not many
but a single light gestures
and diminishes like meaning
through speech, negligently
adance to the calling
of the foghorns like the one
note they lend from voice
to voice. And so does my life tremble,
and when I turn from the window
and from the sea's grief, the room
fills with a dark
hushness and foliage nobody
will ever be plucked from,
and the feelings I have
must never be given speech.
Darkness, my name is Denis Johnson,
and I am almost ready to
confess it is not some awful
mistunderstanding that has carried
me here, my arms full of the ghosts
of flowers, to kneel at your feet;
almost ready to see
how at each turning I chose
this way, this place and this verging
of ocean on earth with the horns claiming
I can keep on if onlyI step
where I cannot breathe. My coat
is leprosy and my dagger
is a lie; must I
shed them? Do I have
to end my life in order
to begin? Music, you are light.
Agony, you are only what tips
me from moment to moment, light
to light and word to word,
and I am here at the waters
because in this space between spaces
where nothing speaks,
I am what it says.