Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Laws of Unconsciousness

There will be high winds upon
the long and arid plain, for what
other mechanism shall scour all
the scratch-built dwellings with
the risen dust, making mockery
of paint, of order, of the idea
we cling to—bringing our structure
to things, for can we not see the
squares and straight lines from
far above, in the hawk’s domain?

Leaning on the rough table we
coaxed from the felling of
trees, looking down into the
water in the old tin dish, so brown
with the dirt we wash from our
faces at day’s end—there is no
reflection in dirty water, only
the anonymity of this life alone
on the great flatland, where
we cut lines in the dirt and
fill them with what little
green we might be granted,
where we cough out dust
upon the pillow as we rest,
dreaming of the shining city,
the silver future when all is
connected, and we are cobbled
together somehow.

Somewhere far below the surface,
there are gears whirring, cam
lobes and tappets describing
their eccentric arcs. There are
finite, physical, definable points
of geometry and physics—the
interaction of surface molecules
in the lubricant dictate how two
moving surfaces behave, how
frictional losses increase as
the speed of machinery does

This is the dream of the hand-worker,
the traveler on the slow train of

This is the dream of folk with
dirty hands and creased brows,
burnt brown from the prairie sun,
who know nothing of those darker
leavings when machine is brought
to bear, when it makes tools of us
all and removes some small fraction
of us for its own.

This is the first law of unconsciousness,
that we wish for those things we can’t
understand, those things far beyond
our ken and made thusly marvelous,
the sanctified unknown calling its
sirine’s song out into the blue night,
whether rustling pine bower to the
city-trapped, whether wave-lapped
hull to the land-bound, whether
gear-turning mechanical nirvana to
the man who knows only plow and
spade upon the dirt.

In dreams,
the aardvark is a lion, the hawk
is the bear, and the salmon is the
high tamarack lingering above
costal waters.

In dreams,
we are all those things outside,
all those imagined states of grace
upon which we desperately rely.


Braleigh said...

I've visited your blog 3 times now, and this is the first occasion I've been able to master my intimidation (I always feel pathetically unworthy of speaking to those who possess the ability to write brilliant prose) to enough of an extent that allows me to thank you for what was the coolest comment I've ever received.

"where we cough out dust
upon the pillow as we rest,
dreaming of the shining city,
the silver future when all is
connected, and we are cobbled
together somehow."

Like I said, brilliant.

Firehawk said...


A figure so illustrious as yourself, with such wit and charisma--you should never be intimidated. I rejoice at your approval, and shall make the day an annual time of celebration in my country. You shall henceforth be known as Saint Braleigh the Fair, and the peasants will call upon your name for aid in times of trouble.

Braleigh said...

Strangely enough, the peasants of my village pay tribute to 'Firehawk the Genius' though for some reason, his humble nature
I would gander, he insists upon being referred to as 'The Grim' which is actually inifinitely cooler, though it may not directly capture the nature of his astounding intellect and literary brilliance.

Thank you so very much for the accolades, once again made my day.
The study tip helped...a lot. I found myself immersed in nocturnal visions of World War II Generals, and the following morning I was unable to forget a single name.

Ah, and as for the titles to my blogs: more often than not I employ the use of a quote from a movie or television show- this leads most readers to believe that I'm simply alluding to the show, but you're right, it's much more than that. Usually it's a glimpse into my psyche and hints of some pressing matter, or fixation. The clues really are too minute to mean much to anyone other than myself, I fear. :)


Call the Hammers of the Whirlwind

What tears away like insect wings inside the whirlwind and peels like lead between the cylinder and the forcing cone as the pow...