Being Alive at Ninety-One Rue de Sabrosa

A bit of ‘wild mind’* writing for a friend

There are squirrels in the fall-fashion colour called ‘mauve iridescent’
and a jackdaw as witness or he would be were he not sleeping.
The frail-seeming Goddess turns over and aeons collide
as she sleeps in the forest in a bag of impervious silk.

The prices one pays for being alive at Ninety-One
Rue de Sabrosa! ‘What’s a Sabrosa?’ asks a Jung gull,
collective memory awry at Avian Heights.
‘It’s a street name,’ answers uselessly a management consultant
who is also an owl who also may moonlight as mouser.

My world is a far better place with you in it.

The silk bag hovers nefariously (‘Precariously?’
asks the Jung gull) in spite of supporting the goddess
and serving as the perch of the great horned owl.
‘Horn-rimmed,’ suggests the Jung gull. ‘Stop that. Owl!’

We wished for rain and got some, built an ark,
ensured it All-Risk. When it washed away
we were in clover until the sky went dark,
the stars going out. We miss the milky way
that horizons used to glimmer. The sky’s gone sour
and bobs your uncle along with green crab apples.

‘More drink?’ the dormouse offers. It won’t help.

Wild mind – what else? Tame kidneys? Placid lungs?
Mythology is a giggle when compared
to this Jacob’s ladder with its missing rungs
sawed off – I’ll bet – by the goddess who repaired –
she says – the galaxy that we turned into plastic.

A multiple-choice quiz defeats the purpose
if there was one of a proper education.

She is not hungry so she eats a second breakfast
to kickstart resurrection but that fails.

‘Wild mind, why not? I’ll tell you,’ says the editor.
‘Writing on is a plague like overpopulation
and,’ he adds theatrically, ‘pervasive plastic.’

The lame life story lies down with short lines
that consume it but by gods not soon enough.
Vinegar recesses – wine, grapes, vines –
to primeval algae, dustbowl. Quantum stuff.

We watch creation wind up, stop, rewind.
A thousand thoughts escape and wave goodbye.
Good riddance too. We think they are unkind
and they say we are dull. Okay, goodbye.

The plethora of totality are one.

  • A footnote about where ‘wild mind’ came from. As I scribbled along I remembered ‘wild mind’ from a book I read in August 1999, Wild Mind, Living the Writer’s Life, Natalie Goldberg, 1990. Quoting her in part: ‘… I want you to look up at the sky. Do you see it? It is a big sky … So our job as writers is not to diddle around our whole lives in the dot but to take one big step out of it and sink into the big sky and write from there. Let everything run through us and grab as much as we can of it with a pen and paper. Let yourself live in something that is already rightfully yours … your own wild mind…’

Visit with Dead Friend

He leans into the wall. That makes me shiver.
Not ‘against’ but ‘into’ – he’s flaunting that he’s a ghost.
I have to convince him I think he’s alive or
he’ll fly through me. That’s his shtick I hate the most.

We talk about the good times we experienced.
We reread ageing email notes we shared.
The twilight comes and goes as if the day sensed
how our meeting leaves reality impaired.

He asks me to remind him how it feels
to feel anything: heat, anger, hunger. Love.
I ask him what if anything Death reveals.

We try but tire of finding any answers.
The wall resists my imitative shove.
We realise we are using up our chances.