I wonder to contemplate what you say Señor, that you are “no scholar of the Lamb to pay for Van Gogh’s ear or Shelley’s heart.” The list must be long of those so taught, whose manuscripts upon the ruined pyre burn as “wounds that never heal.” You write for some future time the heart gouges in the plate. Will you take this day an ear for the heart? I was given to listen as one being taught.
There was never a hole in that plate alone. Why this one whose coppers met the gouge? He gouged out “friendship,” he gouged out “blessing,” he gouged out “love” between himself and the reader. “Entire passages that suggested intimacy” to separate the public sheep and goat, “no longer Dear Reader asked to forgive what he did not approve, & love me for this energetic exertion of my talent.”
He shook artists from their ladders where I found a cello fallen from the upper story of Van Gogh’s head, broken, every follicle dead. It made its music falling down. The wind blew the strings in this dissonance with Hopkins’ burned mansion and the manuscripts burned in Blake’s grate behind his house where those gouges which belong to us celebrate the suffering.
There in this basket I carry Sir the distinction of high art, the Lamb without a spot, which fellowship the author must understand with the hand gouged text to invent whole new typographical signs. Were you a hawk upon a cliff to launch the blow that pierces would join a colon launched below a period, a sea of tildas descended in fiery sparks, nimbuses with comma heads and question marks that land in a bed. The talk on Black Ridge above the shrubs where he slept a stretch among hard fighting men in rows that died. Open the basket of those flutter shrouds. Can we revive the bones? I have been up late my patron.
We prize the wounds and get beyond false art that shames to gouge a plate. Who survives the sudden night, expired escapes? The gouge is not “a broken text,” it is a line torn from the Achilles tendon, swollen cartilage flesh where art’s smooth body was thick. The gouges mark the path.
When we meet them in the other life by the Rock that overlooks Abyss we understand coincident with the heartfelt purpose and response, two centuries late, the illustrations in the art of light that move the soul. We had the text, a dark gloss nothing like the sense to see the Giant Forms to save the world.
The gouges go down where all the ladders start. You are expected to complete the line that admits only those who enter, “Jesus only” ostracized. Do you mean not all accepted? Oh none, save if this miracle have might! The Giant forms the spirit portend. “He who waits to be righteous before he enters will never enter there.” On ocean’s bank the title page admits only those who true prophesy, whose enemies are their advocates at end, unless they are his stool.
Discriminate the false from true or be tried for sedition. No credit for the naked eyes of all who will stand in the judgment, who owe homage of the greater from the less. Ordinary people with stigmatas express their forms to give up everything to burn on the eternal pyre. Extraordinary oppositions found in the one who meditates asunder.
Who crucified his son? Hopkins spent so long with Jesus the Roman soldier thought to pound his oppositions like nails to hang him more. Intense introspection, scrupulosity, a strict conscience enflamed the wags who burn self abnegation of conscience to burn.
If only we could find a building large enough to house and strong enough to bind the cords and drugs to burn. Not a pretty sight, melancholy, nervous, brilliant, extreme, a sun spot reaching temperatures unknown, charged with desolation, but not enshrined, mocked, deprived. Only the gift so mortified does not live up ideals. The torturers’ real paradox, stigmata beyond intellect in the symbolic wounds of the world and its shed blood. War, accident, disease, old age make us conflict with death who attempt to reconcile life, the man unjustly suffering. One who dies for others, we think it of ourselves, owns his sins with sorrow in that struggle to be sanctified, the strength that comes from acceptance, immolation, destruction, gouging, injury, rejection stigmata not to speak the mockery of success. Throw out that plate “if you can’t write the way we teach forbid.” Van Gogh is on the canvas for the count.
We meet by the Rock those who take the other side in this Abyss, but understand not. No standing Señor. Your penchant to understand confounds relief, but centuries late. Why rave? Why speak? It is later yet. I wake to read.
The scholars had the text’s dark gloss, but nothing like the sense. They did not see eternity the other night, Jerusalem and the Giant Forms. The gouge goes down where all the ladders start. Fundamentalist, come away! You expect to complete that line Jesus Only in Greek of the crescent moon, inscribed upon the page, transfigure light of the Great Morning, where all beings pass in the common street transformed to the epitome of beauty, or of all joy or sorrow. Admit only those who enter. It shall come from the soul. It shall be love.
Andrew Reiff is involved, directly speaking, in the malfeasance of likeness between native and captive, one of the first degrees taken in surfactant hydrocarbon remediation. He has published some fiction in Gobbet and Gone Lawn.