Be gentle with my mind
Oh Lord, for I am matter made
And matter born.
“BIG MART” 5/27/02
I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day;
(Whether in my mind or out of it I can not tell.)
And I heard behind me, a voice
like the sound of many waters
a tin kazoo …
“WaWa Wa Wa Wawa Woo”
And I saw before my eyesa big and outstanding marvel:
Where once stood a forest
a monolithic brick:
A city in a single form and dressedin tincture of elephant and sky with garnish of red,
rising from a plain
of crushed obsidian.
And there before the mammoth wall,a wetless sea, with tailess whales
circling the plain and searching for a place to rest.
Everywhere the oxidizing basketsbasking in between the whales.
Everywhere the streaming co-eds.
And I beheld two minimalistic-nods to art-deco:Turrets strung above the gates and sporting signage:
hovering above twin falls.
Then, to my delightthe waters split
like a curtain pulled sideward,
and I saw, behind them a courtyard of the coarsest marble.
So I thought: What is the meaning of this crude stone?
Then a voice within my head replied:
“This is rock of select-frictionchosen to protect owners of said city against law-suits should the people slip.”
And before I could, a voice outside my head replied:
Welcome to the Hall of NationsWelcome to The Wood between the Worlds …
Welcome the Land where lives converge.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome,
come and spend.
And Lo (and High)
I beheld grand and astonishing bedazzlements that no man can mention save me:
I saw the beautiful bones of walking peasantsand the pleasant pies.
I saw cream of star, arranged in bars and bathing
Game-boys and socks, and a roof
like the state of Kansas -spanning from the east-wind to the west.
I saw visages and vectors
slung like blades: pictures of the smiling Associates
I saw cattle-cars of goods and goods,
and the floor in between
like a gleaming grid, all wet with dried shellac.
The time is Ten O’clock on Sunday night.
Who would have thought to shop right now?But one of every two hundred students in our big
college town is prancing down the isles
in the mating dance of eyes
and buying files.
One of every 1000 families is buying milkand hose for his wife
and pencils for his kids.
And one of every me
can hardly take another ounce of pleasure.
Then as I skipped(reeling as I do, in the I-AM of being)
One, like a son of Sam said:
Come, follow me and I will show you what ye seek.
Behold, the splints of
griping graphite from Ceylon
and mixed with Mississippi clay …
and sprayed in school-bus golden.
And I lookedat himas if he were an imbecile… to which he then replied:
“Have you ever read ‘I, Pencil’
Then were my eyes were opened tothe mystery of commerce
and the many antecedents
swirling on, or about my feet.
Here, the shining vinylmade of peat bog and wax, and the man who feeds his
face by making it to gleam.
Here, the waiting bubbles like a secret code, hidin syrup from Nebraska, caged in a can from Alcoa.
Here, the tropic sun and siltwith caffeine kick, minted in Honduras.
Here the unseen trucks that course by night
to dump the living lobster
and the intricate outbursts
of the Japanese mind.
Here the masses from Malaysia,China and Taiwan, bent across the polyester oil-fields
and cotton gins,
and clothing me in reams of labor
for an hour of my own.
Here the ground-up pigs on plates of foam,and German brains, applied
to the beautiful gears.
Here the pulling on the teats of cows,
the purposed rot of milk, ...the graceful eggs.
Here, the chosen fontsand art campaigns, athletes leaping from the boxes
to sell another flake.
Here (real time): The sons of Adam and the chicks of Eve,weaving in and out of ears. Goateed men, pretending to like shopping
and the dames, with their gametes tucked inside, ready to
deliver new consumers.
Then did I behold (waiting with me in the chutes)a multitude of kids, from every nation, tribe, and tongue:
Our baskets brimming in cilantro and the stuff
of every nation, tribe, and tongue;
Our lungs, twined in the air;
and I cried (with delight)
“Could this really be the Arkansasthat opposed integration?”
It stands in my mindlike a growing constant: things that are, are fed by many branches,
which in turn are fed by branches which in turn are fed by branches till
the only explanation for what is,
must never start with nothing
but with all.
Consider the power of the HAND,and the infinite wisdom of the ONE
capable of chasing,
and igniting all loose ends,
then reduce and back away
Wal-Mart rises, not from any so called “bang”
but from The Big Condense.