No love deserves the death it has. An archipelago
Rocks cropping out of ocean. Seabirds shit on it. Live out their
lives on it.
What was once a mountain.
Or was it once a mountain? Did Lemuria, Atlantis, Mu ever
exist except in the minds of old men fevered by the distances
and the rocks they saw?
Was it true? Can the ocean of time claim to own us now adrift
Over that land. In that land. If memory serves
There (that rock out there)
Is more to it.
Wake up one warm morning. See the sea in the distance.
Die Ferne, water
Because mainly it is not land. A hot day too
The shreads of fog have already vaporized
Have gone back where they came from . There may be a whale
in this ocean.
Empty fragments, like the shards of pots found in some
Mesopotamian expedition. Found but not put together. The
Universe has distance but not much else.
No one’s weather or room to breathe in.
On the tele-phone (distant sound) you sounded no distant than
if you were talking to me in San Francisco on the telephone
or in a bar or in a room. Long
Distance calls. They break sound
Into electrical impulses and put it back again. Like the long
telesexual route to the brain or the even longer teleerotic
route to the heart. The numbers dialed badly, the
consisted of sounds that I had
To route to phonemes, then to bound and free morphemes, then
to syntactic structures. Telekinesis
Would not have been possible even if we were sitting at the
same table. Long
Distance calls your father, your mother, your friend, your
lover. The lips
Are never quite as far away as when you kiss.
An electric system.
“Gk. ήλέκτρον, amber, also shining metal; allied to
Malice aforethought. Every sound
You can make making music.
This is no nightingale. No-
Body’s waxen image burned. Only
Believe me. Linguistics is divided like Graves’ mythology of
mythology, a triple goddess—morphology, phonology, and
Tough lips that cannot quite make the sounds of love
Has so misshaped them.
Malicious afterthought. None of you bastards
Knows how Charlie Parker died. And dances now in some brief
kingdom (Oz) two phonemes
That were never paired before in the language.
Aleph did not come before Beth. The Semitic languages kept as
strict a separation between consonant and vowel as between
men and women. Vowels somehow got between to produce
children. J V H
Was male. The Mycenaean bookkeepers
Mixed them up (one to every 4.5)
(A = 1, E = 5, I = 9, O = 15, U = 21)
Alpha being chosen as the queen of the alphabet because she
IBM cards follow this custom.
What I have chosen to follow is what schoolteachers call a
blend, but which is not, since the sounds are very little
changed by each other
Two consonants (floating in the sea of some truth together)
Immediately preceded and/or followed by a vowel.
The emotional disturbance echoes down the canyons of the
Echoes there—sounds cut off—merely phonemes. A ground-
rules double. You recognize them by pattern. Try.
Hello shouted down a canyon becomes huhluh. You, and the
canyons of the heart,
Recognize feebly what you shouted. The vowels
Are indistinguishable. The consonants
A pattern for imagination. Phonemes,
In the true sense, that are dead before their burial. Constructs
Of the imagination
Of the real canyon and the heart’s
in The Collected Books of Jack Spicer
[Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1975]