25 November 2016

Friedrich’s Tomb

For S.L.W.

The concrete is porous, I heard.
As is Time,
You avowed two breaths later
as if Your fate somehow
co-inhabited the axioms.

These haggard steps were perhaps birthed by the mountains
a row of collapsing gravestones,
tenderly guided uphill by roots with quivering skin,
luminescent moss softening the unhurried fall.
Our veins the mycelium, our hearts the filaments
Our linked bodies the budding fruit,
two portholes feeding nutrients
through the gates of Our fingertips,

the tender grip a bridge,
arms stretching across the divide of two worlds,
travelling the crumbling stone
toward the decaying halls of the sky.


Time is only change, you see,
that’s why you cannot undue it,
time only accepts acceleration.
Flawed somewhat, You said,
but please, prey tell.
Listen, listen to the Japanese. There is a term, ‘mono no aware’ which denotes a peculiar attitude toward things, or a receptive mood poised sensitively to the affordances of the world. A relational opening extending to (…). This bundled impression is intimately tied to another aesthetic concept, which revolves around time. Now, there is a notion about the Japanese, that they “see a particular charm in the evidence of old age. They are attracted to the darkened tone of an old tree, the ruggedness of a stone, or even the scruffy look of a picture whose edges have been handled by a great many people.”
(), ‘Sabi’, it means to rust.

It incorporates, not just the concept of transience, impermanence, fleetingness, and so on, but also the necessary abstraction, time, as belonging to the thing.
A ‘thing’ is ‘mono’ (
) (in the most general sense);
object, phenomena, matter, being, property, substance, and so on (note the missing essence).
This conception figures into the traditional aesthetic idea of ‘wabi-sabi’, which can be found ubiquitously in Japanese art, and in tedious westernized appropriations, and points toward an enjoyment of a thing’s impermanence, something like ‘mono no aware wabi’. However, that idea is already loaded because the Japanese have here ethically anesthetized and elevated the concept to an idealism. So, sabi is missing. As an intransitive verb, sabi evokes something along the lines of “rusting together”. To reiterate, and more precisely, mono no aware means, most generally, a certain kind of awareness of things, however, the nature of this awareness is properly lacking. It is a type of awareness/sensitivity to things directed in such a way where the ephemeral, transient aspect is entailed in the awareness of one of the elements, which simultaneously implies a deeper field of typically abstract elements, like time (opening the door toward a host of other aspects), enters into a reciprocal relationship, without, imperatively, prioritizing any one specific element in the process. Hence, the translation of sabi as ‘rusting together’. As a result, mono no aware, coupled with the notion of sabi, would translate to a certain sensitivity toward the cyclical and mutually-constitutive relationship between the subject and the thing, bound together in co-mingled rusting
… rusting together (錆つく).

Now, You listen, She signalled,
or look, if You prefer,
partially exit Your senses,
as if Your body somehow,
dwelled among the shattered remains.

The gnawed pillars are now spires of the summit,
scattered tombs weeping efflorescence,
a spray of leaves encircling, sent by the wind to
draw the swaying boundaries of the enclosure.

She motioned through the crowned archway,
where vine crawls the rocks, green florets
circuitously pointing the path as they,
seeped through the cavities, while
the damp viridian carpet inundated
fountains underfoot, as We drew closer
to the cavernous nest of time.

Her gregarious song unfurled arcane scrolls,
as She went along, tapestries from inside chambers,
exposing deeper folds beyond the faded doors
releasing lost tales from under the battened ledgers.

V. I.
Without its tainted glass shield,
the window loses sight,
no longer a frame, nor a stage,
where the viewer enacts the most
egregious fallacy of being.
Rivers of light cascade
and surrounding pines,
the world pours in.
Once an ornate rock dome,
presiding over inward huddles,
The ceiling sprouts in brushstrokes
as it clasps the bolstered radiance
of the canvas above.
The withered columns
mere sentries that
guard the innermost cluster,
now burst open as the universe
descends unhindered,
like infinitesimal planetoids
breaking asunder. The vacuum
stirred by omnidirectional crooning.
A prayer of resignation. At night,
the stars blanket the cold floors,
and fractured gemstones are
fossilized by the frozen air, in which
the perennial hymn is preserved.
The heavens held by the distant
chanting – they scaffold the
withering walls, not the other
way around. Echoing boundlessly,
here, the origins of aesthetic creation
reveals itself for what it is, finally
sealing Our tertiary bond.

Here, time comes to rest,
She added, time comes to die,
to pass, like a burial in reverse,
here, inside the grave, time is lost,
to that most finite of questions,
on whether it managed
to leave a trace. Repeated
ad infinitum, the very arbitrary
rhythm, the very cosmic clockwork
that grounds it. 

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