Issue 1

from Everywhere Here and in Brooklyn: A Four Quartets

 · Poetry

Oh, darkness. We’re all in it.

The cosmic strings, the zero point vibrations, the spaces between the spaces,

The generals, CEO’s, famous novelists,

The collectors, presidents, and managers,

Kind-hearted volunteers and nonprofit administrators,

All of us, to darkness.

And into darkness goes Belladonna and Gathering of the Tribes,

And the PMLA, directory of academia,

Where the artists are mediated,

And chilled to the touch and disoriented to the movement,

And everybody’s going with them, into everybody’s funeral,

Lots of dirt but no one to actually bury.

     If I said to my soul, calm down, just go with it, the darkness,

It’s ancient like gods to the ancients.

As in an art gallery when the lights

Suddenly go out, and instead of fumbling for the switch you just sit down

And trust that the swishing sound you hear is just water

And because you are in an art gallery, it won’t engulf you.

Or, like the old L train before it was automated,

When it got stuck underneath the East River for too long,

The lights would all go out and the people would stop talking, or begin whispering,

And you could sense all around you the terror of thinking

That something was going to happen or worse, the terror of nothing to do;

Or, like swimming underwater from one end of the pool to the other and your mind is thinking of nothing but breath —

If I said to my soul, calm down, and wait without waiting,

Sit without wondering because wondering would be the wrong thing;

Hold on without remembering because remembering will not help you;

If you have faith, wait without it because faith and wondering and memory are connected, and will not help you.

Maybe you could wait without thinking, but you might not be ready for that quite yet;

But if you are, you can think darkness into sight, and stillness into movement.

You can think about particles and photons of light all around you,

And you can think about the ocean. And in your mind, you can hear the rocky stream, the green of the pine trees and the shuffle of sunlight through leaves.

Or you can come up with your own image. Not wishing you were there, but just noticing it in your mind.

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