On a patio in Old Town, a rattle clutched in her gamboling hand, a child waddles through unmowed grass, each step a loss and recovery, each an obligation to the difficult whole.

                           Birds tweeting between riffs of human chatter suggest imigrations of shadows used first in relation to witchcraft, and then adopted by fifteenth-century Portuguese traders, in relation to animals in numinous awe and it is possible that, with the development of self-consciousness, more anthropomorphic theological imagery evolved. If men came to think of their gods as magnified non-natural men they were probably influenced by the cult objects of West Africans. This is the origin of the common anthropological meaning of the fetishas blueprints for somewhere else.

In the early cult a kami had no shape of his own, his occasional
visionary appearances being temporary disguises only.
In order to manifest himself in our world he must rather be
provided with a suitable vessel or vehicle. This vehicle he could be
persuaded by magical sounds to enter and 'possess,' and through
it communicate with the human village.

                Robins volt on campus, so intent on the chase, one flies into my chest; then lands and laughs, "My cold blood runs hot today," We both know that poetry proper is never a higher mode of everyday language. It is rather the reverse: everyday language is to recognize that Eros himself pistol-whipped Gutierrez, bruising him on the neck and head. The woman and three fugitives fled in a green Escort with a front plate that inhabits an inhuman realm, that ultimately this site is not to be colonized--it remains forever a forgotten and therefore used-up poem, from which God is wild again, a very strange attractor.

The ancient sound,/as perfect/as potent/as cruel
a charm/as a dried heart /pierced by thorns...


To intermittent showers, but no lightning, the New Mexico Symphony opened its season last night at the Rio Grande Zoo. A large crowd gathered to see the new conductor, resplendent in tails, the brilliant guest pianist, dreadlocks and a bright red shirt floating on the moiré ceiling, and Chernobyl's birds were absent when he was taking lethal water samples from the Pripyat River in 1986, but the first of them returned a year after the disaster. With few humans or their act of first writing, an archeological adventure that is also archeo-clastic, since the writer does not reappropriate the old signs (as in grave robbing) so much as he repeats the violence of predators to bother them, they now seemed to be flourishing. For that matter a large population of radioactive roe deer was thriving in the orchestra, animated beneath a cantilevered roof supporting the most voluminous compositions.

       After an intermission of tostadas, the Symphonic Dances of West Side Story," with enthusiastic solos by a barking sea lion, took me back to Company C, Ft. Devens, Mass., to an overcast winter day; the laundry starched and folded, I went to see the movie, reflecting upon the transition from walking to dancing, in the film so hilariously misstepped.

          How does reality's choreography differ from the dance a dream does?, even as our ancestors, scratching on antler, wood, bone and stone, or painting sequestered walls, were subjected to a sudden fall of incredible violence. The Icarus myth is an excellent example made to forcefully oppose and to totally defeat the gloomy designs of those who, for unaccountable reasons, attempt to turn man against himself and to keep him devoured by the fire of ambition, and to quell that feeling of emptiness, that bare world with nothing worth the effort of loving, then he must fill it with himself, because everything that can be obtained from it, far from satisfying him, pushes him back towards himself, from running away from the anguish that has caused and fostered the idea of this: it clearly gives the sun two different attributes--the one that was shining at the moment Icarus was flying up and the one that melted the images they projected, as we edify our souls today.

                                        One chilly night last fall I attended the opening of Pyroglyphs, Steina Vasulka's video installation. Standing outside the gallery, a warm circle of friends briefly caught up on each other, as to be human is to be 'curved,' round, flowing....from where, gripping cups of hot coffee sugared with grains of con versation, we attended a nearby show of collages, Woody Vasulka stirring us up to the lack of risk in the lives of contemporary artists, juxtaposing a vision of medieval Turkey, with Sufi dervishes dancing, hidden in catacombs, just as this picture, taken with a focal-plane shutter, shows that at present, when most humanists compare the experience of reading electronic text on a computer screen to that of readinga language that follows a syntax of splits and ruptures. Look at any word long enough and you will see it open up intercourse between a man and the spirit reflecting him, spirits passed down as a legacy, men wearing women's clothes, spirits attracted by music, spirits fed with blood, a shaman pointing to the color of a sacrificial animal, the bones of a sacrificial animal preserved and buried, spirits depicted as dolls, a shaman looking into a series of faults, into a terrain of particles each containing a printed page, they concentrate, with good reason, almost entirely on the presentation mode, and they therefore point out the disappearance-reappearance mechanism is one that takes place in stages, and that the object begins to appear in the new location while it is still dissolving in the old location or locations. We use the word 'locations' since so many religions tortured their mystics, seeing them as a threat to the community, and to institutional power.

Among the Volga Bulgars, Ibn Fadlan found a strange custom:
"When they observe a man who excels through quickwittedness
and knowledge, they say: 'For this one it is more befitting to serve
our Lord.' They seize him, put a rope round his neck and hang him
on a tree where he is left until he rots away...

At La Caldera, having crawled through an improvised dolmen, mackling shadows emerge on the latter-day kiva's obdurate walls, gathering round a corban of candles, whispering meek confessions gleamed from a largo of auguring stones. Breathing with the membrane of a haptic drum, fretting recursive incantations, my right hand grips an angel's pearly digits, left in the throws of the coven's dark mistress...

We have tracked our quarry to a huge mound, which i sense as a place
of power. My partner--we are detectives--wants to climb, but i sense
that we would die at the top.

Then three of us are digging a ditch. i find a plastic windshield, which
seems significant. Another car part  is unearthed; then a manhole cover,
beneath which is a chamber, into which two of us descend, while
i  remain behind....

Shot through with ironies and innuendoes not simply inherited and made, but suppose 'fantasy' worked differently. Suppose that there isn't some kind of a priori idea or 'thought' that is then to be 'translated' into his painting of the sky, the exaltation of his desire for a mystical union and release, but no theology, no allegories of the divine. He had written to Theo some time before, after describingthe impression that met me when I stood facing the Parthenon. This impression was so unexpected, so instantaneous (it could not have lasted more than a second) and at the same time so extraordinary quiet and stable, that I almost did not recognize his plan to do from having a terrible need of--shall I say the word--of religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars'on to a literal (and therefore verbally accountable, ultimately analysable) basis. Suppose that the complication and the integrity--even the element of paradox and ironymust be imbued with "seeing" and empowered by the capacity to dream well and deeply. Symbols connect --this is their primary function, and the power of a symbol lies in its capacity to unite mental-emotive perspectives into a shared horizon of meanings. But not just meanings,the textual body is always in critical condition.