Levertov / Dust

A Gift

Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
the gift is your answer.

–Denise Levertov

^folk, (o)=e

excerpt from my journal:

“I think there’s really something magical about folk music. I’m sitting in Connemara in a pub and there’s these 3 guys just chillin’ with a few traditional instruments (staples. guitar, accordion, folk guitar, mandolin i think…?). Every time I listen to this stuff I get swept away to another world and time, where people performed to share and to keep things alive — when stories were told instead of written… when stories were sung and danced instead of told. Why does this idea hold so much power for me?
Perhaps because I am a writer. I write stories down. I want folklore to be squeezed into 2D, but no one can quite seem to manage it — there’s an element of human flesh and blood and experience in it deeper than anything that can be nailed down on a page in black and unmoving white. The whole give-response mechanism is truly different. Utterly different. It cannot be flattened — it IS music. It flies through the air and buries itself in people’s hearts, and people’s hearts give back… The nature of this creating is continual and communal. An holistic expression of Heidegger’s ‘Being’… ha! I love it.

c. Mary Kathryn Gough, spring 2006, clifden, connemara


I cannot write. Cannot write, cannot write cannotwritecannotwrite.
There is nothing to say, it’s all been read,saidanddone. I cannot write
right: my idealism won’t countenance these mongrel awkwardnesses, won’t
afford them the space, award them the effort, free them for flight —
the gut-dropping, nose-first dive I know it will inevitably be. I cannot write
for that. Not for that. Never. for. that. clipped and terrifying journey.
Each work in turn too small, too frail, too crippled, too pained, too
unfinished… unacclaimed.

But is this the true root of the issue? That I am simply downtrodden
by rejection, by anonymity, by the bruises and blisters, the loss of
braincells resulting from my headfirst dashes at the thick, glass ceiling
above, between me and — who knows what?
Maybe the real problem is that I don’t believe in anything upon anything
else anymore, not after the candle burned out, after the fire died, its smokey
tail lifted away and up to a place I cannot reach or imagine: dissipation.

Now all I can imagine is what I can’t have: the end of the line, that bright and
beckoning finish line, that warm and fulfilling completion that, all said and
done, stops Be-ing, stops weaving, jumping, meaning, feeling, sharing,
hoping: a stagnant place of immobility and grey, building block of infinity
brought to naught, all the curves removed, the shapes nothing without
motion, motive, destination,and the forge fires of Hope.

Death, of a strange kind, is what I seek now, all un-beknownst to
my lackluster soul.


I want to reclaim so many words from the INDUSTRIES of today:

Reverberate is a wild, wide, ecstatic word that could cover the
earth with waves of pressure all by itself! The sound of a gong
struck by Olympus-like gods — huge and soul-changing,
sweeping aside old leaves and leftovers
for something fresh and new,
stirring the heart to savor empty space,
the wide open(ing) stillness after

its many

so that its waters are clear
for whatever comes ) next.

c. Kate Gough