Jerome Rothenberg: "A Further Witness," for Anselm Hollo

All things possess intelligence, and a share of thought.
– Empedocles of Acragas

1/

I who
am dead
call to
the living
little
brothers
how absurd
your walk
is
unencumbered
& adrift
you run across
life’s
stage
your words
are manacles
& cage
your mind
I know
enough of you
to sense
your pain
freely
& fiercely
I move
into a deeper
space
where none
will reach me
here
I strike
a blow
an imbeciling
fluid
from inside
my body
                          (A. Artaud)
covers
the ground
between
& blocks
all entry
birds
like little
knives
dive
down the sky
le mal
du ciel
the phrase
I hear
& fly from

2/

reduced
to bits
of light
a thin
white
line
nerve’s
end
or eye’s
eclipse
it sticks
inside
my throat
I try
but cannot
cough it
out
the edges
of a tongue
sharper
than nails
leave me
numb
& distant
from my own
recall
of pain
the pattern
of small
trees
that block
my path
a flash
of lights
back of
my eyes
twitter
& call
of birds
made out of
air
the fragile
bones
my fingers
crack
& weave
like wires
blood
(aghast)
flows
in a line
so thin
it fades
from sight
tick tock
the clock
inside
your heart
atremble
clatters
night
will overcome
the sleepers
we will raise
a sheet
& watch them
as they fall
like phantoms
down
a thousand
worlds
 
3/

my word
for it
is not
enough
it takes
a certain
force
the mystery
of mind
spread through
the universe
alive
in each
of us
our thoughts
returning
to the source
uncharted
absent
each time
another
friend
departs
my breath
feels
distant
days
condense
to minutes
nights
to days
the mystery
is in
the words
alone
(he writes)
the rest
he cannot know
but bears it
in his mind
all things
possess
intelligence
&
a share
of thought

29.i.13