Thursday, September 5, 2019

Walking in Woods and the Concrete Jungles When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, Summer Endings and Fall Beginnings Pts 1 and 2

End of summer hikes and highlights. 

First week of classes before Labor Day.

We drove up to Garrison.

And hiked out to Arden Point

Past an old church

And Patti Hurst’s House.
Past Ham Fish’s.
Taking a left at the train tracks.
Retraced our well  worn  path.
Where Caroline  and  I walked,
 the Cannibal Girls formed.
On the back trail
At 96 Lower Station Rd, Garrison, NY
Along the magic Hudson.
Past crumbling ruins, reclaimed by the vines.
Not quite Angkor Wat.
Still majestic.
 A pause for  a second.
Before we  made our way
back to the city.
Talking Bowie with the teenager.
Back  to Grand Central and Princeton on our way to
holy Brooklyn
Riding forever.

Sunday morning at 10 AM,
No one is in town.
The city is quiet.
Alive but empty.
Looking at us looking at it. 
Like my first summer here.
Leather  folks and  women in white t shirts walking the  streets.
The  city looking at us as we look at it.
Looking back at it. 
Back in 1998.
Riding past the murals.
And a Lennon Wall.
Struggles for democracy everywhere.
Even here.
Graffiti for, 
Against Hong Kong
Names flying  to and  from. 
Life on  Mars.
Teargas  in Hong Kong.
Hopes here from Brooklyn. 
Fighting  in the dance hall.
Babs at the beach.
I’m on  my way.
Back to Judson.
Beach or Church. 
I'm conflicted.
Which church to attend?
Where to break bread?
God is unknowable
Or maybe she’s left town?
Still I miss her. 
Wondering what happens
When  the  Roll is Called Up Yonder.
Are we heading towards peace?
Meeting the teenager at First Street Garden.
Keith and Leslie on the Street back in Brooklyn.
It all fades
In  front of our eyes.
Buildings crumbing.
Fall Classes starting. 

Part Two
Later that night,
The Ditchdigger returned for another go of it.
From Falmouth to Brooklyn.
Back into the breach.
Are we heading towards  peace?
Writing and arriving. 
By way of England,
Back up to Poughkeepsie.
Back in the USA.
Eating at the Empire Dinner.
A feeling of foreboding.
Up to college. 
Back to the scene of the crime. 
Joss Dorm
where we sat in grass all those years ago.
Housing in the woods.
Varieties  of  religious experience even  if we don’t  know what we  believe.
God is unknowable.
But we are still  looking and hoping.
Reflecting on the unconscious.
Or god.
Or the unknowable.
History of life.
Of seaweeds.
On ideas of who we are.
On the space between  poetry and the sublime?
What do fictions  of faith have to teach us?
When the roll, is called up yon-der,When the roll is called up yonder I?ll be there
That’s when I feel it. 
Looking for a coffee.
Flipping through Gordon’s book absurdist adventure
From Amsterdam with Love.
With a chuckle and  a smile.
Mind breaths and beat hotels. 
An old master teaching.
But I’m still not sure I understand the nature of poetry. 
Walking by the cemetery on campus. 
Its like I'm half in already,
Says the Ditchdigger.
Recalling troubles,
in Poughkeepsie, like death. 
Talking John Cheever. 
The Ovid Ossining. 
Full of deceits, secret lives. 
Looking around campus,
Raymond into the gloom.
It could be quiet.
The trees are abundant. 
What’s there to learn about a person from the worst thing that ever happened to them?
Its a way to see things, 
says the Ditchdigger.
"Perhaps we only exist because of alternate narratives," 
posits his alterego Rob, words and ideas floating,
from Henry and the Moonbaby.
"The chatter of drinkers on the peninsula..."
"We search the stars for gods..."

We're looking for the classroom.
Somewhere between Rockefeller Hall and the cemetery. 
"A page of prose is where one hears the rain and the noise of battle, 
grief for universality,"
penned Cheever in his journal. 
We chat,
Wondering about the fictions of faith. 
"To write well, 
to wrote passionately, 
to be warmer
to be more self-critical, 
to recognize the power as well
as the force of lust, to write love,"
Cheever rambles. 
"Read the journals advised the Ditchdigger. 
"The Swimmer,"
and "Goodbye My Brother."
"In middle age there is my story, 
there is mystification... 
a kind of loneliness...
Even the beauty seems to crumble, 
Some miscarriages some wrong turning...
Shapes celebrated..."
Writes the Ditchdigger.
Watching the US Open at the Hurricane,
On our way to the Beech Tree...
Back by the cemetery.
On our way back. 
Classes tomorrow.
Its a beautiful night out. 
A beautiful night out. 
Lots  of  stars.


Not really sure I understand what exactly is the nature of poetry.
If you have an idea, do let me know.

I'll keep up the cut up method as long as I can,
I think,
Looking at  the city on  the way back home. 
Making  it through the night.
Lights emerging from the depths,
Home by 515 am.
Dreaming,  sending the little one off to first  day of school.
Talking  with  C for hours,
Walking  to the brink and  back.
Fight,  forgive and yoga.
May the circle  be  unbroken.
Whew. That  was  a wild day.
kids from China in my policy class.
Discussing  Hong Kong and Brexit,
Trade wars and immigration  battles. 
Burning rage at difference.
Lam pulls  the  extradition bill.
Wins for  the activists.
ok, enjoy the day.
I'll look out for the glasses in  the car.

I liked the Hurricane.

The climate strike is coming.
Paul’s sister perished.
Mowed down in  motion.    
Daniel left. 
But can  we stop the plastics?
“From  the karma circuit that joins us, divides  us.

From  the ebbtide, the flow, the lone mind, the sea surge”

That  Harold saw at the Hotel Nirvana.

Rearranged texts that shook up lives.

Can we help transform them from solid to  fluid space,

When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder

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