comes the sun

a poem from several days ago. 16 May 2008

Eating the Sun

Looked into my breakfast this morning

Into potatoes stained by beet blood,

and silky yellow yolks

that held tight to purple onions,

Granules of salt sparkling a crystalline constellation

of the Day.

These nutrients

trust each other,

according to intricate rules of

the solar system

–loom of lights–

and they trust us too,

to consume:

we subject these beings to

1 hundred thousand deaths a second,

exploit them in grace and, …



in which they are tortured alone,

turnips and potatoes turning over in the pan,

the far off rumbling of stomachs: trust:
Not so much because they attend
their deaths in humans,

but because when

we eat,

we eat the sun;

we bring this delicate rule upon their world:

that the sun’s outrageous broad touch of flame

–his enduring explosion of raw light–

should get to feel

the most sensitive touch and tickle

–thread the needle of our experience–

and bring his great opus

into focus

as one of his smallest effects

disappears into my belly,

shy beggar of fortune,

and now the sun’s jealous

as we turn to

stroke a cat

or pull another

of his weeds.


to the white sea

i just finished this outstanding little book by author james dickey.

he accomplishes a kind of rumbling of the battlefield, an awakening and a summons for authors, readers, artists, civilians…

a summons to a greater internal culture, an awareness of one’s more entire self, of the limbic system upon which is stacked the instrument we place so much too much value in.

it’s WWII and this guy, Muldrow, is a tail gunner for a B-29.  in a night raid over Tokyo, he is shot down and, because of his own intense habit of taping everything together before a run, he locates his chute and escapes the spinning aircraft.  thus begins a tale of life at its absolute best, in the midst of terrible adversity, or how would you characterize a nation-island-enemy-territory?  it is not an operation of survival and getting out, but an endeavor to flourish and perform in this, our one chance: life.  a life in relation to the elements that build this place.   the trail forged to the white sea.

here’s an excerpt from near the end:

“But now.  But now.  This was the thing you call sleep.  In it was the Canadian lynx.  I have always loved the fisher marten, and now the hawk, but in a  way maybe the lynx is better than the marten, because his camouflage is better.  Unless.  Unless.  Unless the animal is so close to the space he is in that there is not any difference.  All the time I’d been in Japan, all the time I’d been living, this seemed to me to be the truth of the thing: you can get to the perfect blend if you know exactly how to do it, and if the time is right.  The same thing is true of the predator and the thing he is after: both.  Both.  True of the lynx and the snowshoe hare.  I just felt, in the middle of the night, that it was my time now, and I believed I could do it.  I believed that everything led up to where I was.  The notion rose up in my throat, and there was not any doubt about it anymore.  There were people outside the hut, and maybe a lot more than had ever been there.  I was ready to deal: I had my terms.”

that should be enough to encourage you to read the book, which comes recommended in those serious and simple terms.