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Meditations on Body (work in progress)


Quivering hands reach forward, supple hands receive :
the offering is placed carefully
at the base of the statue,
Ganesh the joyful.
each and every day,
dry season or wet,
hands craft,
braid and pleat reeds.
the tiny baskets gather themselves together,
the path well trodden.

they say the old ways are gone,
but in another country
the light still quivers above the mesas,
not from age but a kind of youth,
energy beyond ordinary time.
even though Ganesh is faded
and Shiva is in ruins,
hands still pleat and weave,
bake and present.
what is an offering?
simply this, a gift :
heaven braided daily into life.

Body is both the one offering
and the one receiving,
the one ignoring
and the one deceiving.
I am not the offering
but the offering moves with me,
remaking itself day after day,
regiving itself,
exquisite craftmanship,
the moment folded upon itself.

Body, this Body,
lives in no time,
not outside time,
nor merely in its multiple instances.
time is layered onto itself -
it is a knotty affair.


the boisterous rhythms,
motors idling
giving shape to the artist’s hand,
its shadowy movement unperturbed by an impatient foot on the pedal,
as the cars surge forward.
here the idle reigns
as the image coalesces.
Body barely notices.

acute irritation.
it is a matter of attention,
and ritual,
the hours suspended
in memory’s time

it is evening when Body emerges,
offering encased
in skin,
still pulsating,
swollen with power ;
the city street responds with indifference.
not all godwounds are benign.


this hand is too weak
to move.
she used to come by
just to check.
maybe something happened.
who can rely
on family these days?

this Body’s mouth is parched,
not even a damp cloth
within reach.


Here Body encounters Body,
While space is negociated ;
Not time, time is absolute.
Place tab A into orifice B,
Bend along the folded line.
The talk matters, though.

The mechanics only frame things,
the real business is in the awkward
interstices between the moments
as Body surges forward, then falters.
The hesitations are offered as gifts
to the god of immortality.


half rave, half rally,
Body intersects itself,
rage or simply passion,
a Picasso fragmentation,
faces and bodies unpeeled.
rictus, grimace, pinched
time layers the images,
a complicated dance,
cameras make no difference
to Body, only to self and selves.
attention is forbidden
Body feels everything :
a bee with ten thousand eyes.


Body moves in currents,
fits and starts,

if Body is not body, then what can be said of Mind?

What would that be like? To be confined to a single body, a single moment in time?



Sunday afternoon,
crossing the street,
a moment of dizziness -
sky and ground fuse,
asphalt falls onto my head,
stings like sizzles of rain on hot pavement,
and yet, beneath the pain,
a brook bubbles,
a welling from inside that refuses to be balked ;
there’s nothing like pain to wake you up
to the amazing burst of power in each instant of time
incarnated within Body.

hospital sounds… conversations, serious talk,
voices raised, insults and placating, gratitude and pleasantries,
murmurs, phones ringing, insistent
whirs, buzzes, creaks and moans,
alarms, bells, grunts and sighs,
whispers, rustling, people moving quietly.
my inner kinaesthetic space is distorted,
skewed upwards and to the right,
while vision there is reduced ;
a swollen eye stares back
from the mirror when I slip away to the washroom.
when I got up I had to pay attention -
can’t afford another bout of dizziness.

eye half shut and singing,
a throbbing somewhere above
and behind.
still and unsure,
clicking of a keyboard,
and a binder opening and being shut,
concentration gone to pieces,
all is flux.

the young man, curly brown hair,
stares and thinks,
stands up and looks around at his patients,
offers a glass of water,
checks where the doctor is,
returns and works silently.

the doctor arrives -
a woman, just as I had imagined,
and I am soon liberated.
free to go home,
no concussion, whew.
just a lesson,
is always
just down the street


If you and I
changed bodies,
then I could simply stand up
and leave myself behind,
leave this body like a discarded skin
and although I might retain
some memory of who I am,
doesn’t memory reside largely in the body?
So my instincts would be different ;
the way I held my body would be different.
I would go home, not to my
but to yours
with its different norms of cleanliness,
knicknacks I learned to reject long ago
but which would now mold to my hands,
bringing unfamiliar emotions flooding inwards.
Unfamiliar, and yet, no so,
perhaps like an experience of deja vu,
sudden recognition
without knowledge of the source.

If you and I
changed bodies,
then I would meet
people who are strangers
yet treat me as friends.
I would do work
that defied my understanding,
my fingers writing odd phrases
and my body falling into rhythms -
gestures and muscular tensions -
that would carry me through
unusual days in the company
of unexpected miracles,
or do I mean, unexpected days
of unusual miracles?

If you and I
switched bodies,
should I assume
you would take as good care
of mine as I do of yours?
What dreams would fill your nights?
How would my imagination inhabit you?
(imagination must be, partially, anchored
in the body, too!)
Would your chance encounters
combine with the faces from my past
to create new erotic fantasies
filled with guilt and responsability?
Would you seek out your own acquaintances
or content yourself with mine?

If you and I
changed bodies,
would we be of necessity neighbours?
Could not the exchange happen anywhere?
And will our respective wealth or poverty,
health or illness,
If I am your body, am I not also
your relationships,
your yearnings and disappointments,
do I not incarnate also your family?
If you are ill, will not I, also,
be weak? How separate,
is will from body?
I think if you are resigned
to life’s difficulties,
then it will be hard for me to break
with such fatalism.

If you are pregant, and wear pink,
would I feel connected to your baby
in the same way you do
(assuming you feel that way)?
If you were gay,
how would my habitual fetichism
towards women find expression?
Through what channels would
desire thrum and how would our mutual
sensuality govern my actions?
Would I flirt agressively
or fall back into my own romantic idylls?
Navigating alternate bodies
seems an impossible conundrum
but perhaps nature assert itself
and things are simpler than they seem?

If you and I
changed bodies,
who is to say,
that we have done so?
Perhaps I Iive your life,
while you live mine;
we make minor changes
but we could hardly change it all!
And if you and I
can do this,
how many you’s
and how many I’s
would it take
to switch us all around?
And who is to say,
that in our dreams at night,
this sometimes does not occur?


We’re jamming
Bodies meshing
We’re jamming
In the game o’ the lord
With you
And spices
Mass effects
Pipeline stymied
Handguns under fire
As murders mount
The body count keeps going up

Bodies squirming
On the dance floor
Raving mad
Innocent yet high
Moving through the buzz
Into horizontal delirium

Bodies swaying
Like poplars
In pre-hurricane winds
Squeak and groan
No trident in hand,
Submarine or underground.

Bodies swimming
Against the current
Children receive sniper fire
As they walk home from school
Seventy-five years collapses
World wars forgotten
In the interstices of our daily lives.

Bodies pummelled
And swept up
In pogroms
There is no statute of limitations
On genocide
Walking naked in the street
One kind of resistance
To absolute authority.

Bodies dreaming
Without safety
Secret storms
Our nations.
No way to object
It’s all digital
No dis-like options available

Bodies running
Crashing through barriers
Breaking down dilapidated doors
Already shattered
The guns multiply
While bullets ricochet everywhere
Tearing up hearts and kidneys
Urinary tracts as well as political
3d printed submachine guns
No escape is possible

Bodies in graves
Or simply lying in rubble
Children like rag dolls
Caught on somebody else’s camera
Smart phones are everywhere
But selfies are impossible
When you are dead
They are piled up in trucks
Like plague victims
The only virus that matters
Our uncaring.

Bodies in movement
Dancing or learning tai chi
Geography no object
Breathing outwards in Bali
And inwards in Iceland
The lingering line
Stretching up through
Then swirling past
The Cape of Good Hope
To pull inwards again towards
The Australian outback

Bodies Bodies Bodies
When fasting, who is eating what?
My affective nourishment
Stirs the muddy waters of my belly
How can I breath? Move?
As both body and self?
What is collective and what individual?
One and Multiple?
Body as bodies?
No anthill or bee colony
Nor Gaia either

Bodies as Body
Bread and wine
This is my body you consume
By either fire or fire

Death swarms inwards
Across the pyres
Bodies resist surrender
Six million or more
Life stopped is what unites us
The living and the dead

The Body gathers itself
From still warm ashes
And disheartened survivors
From those without hope
And those in thrall to love
From the running and the dreaming
The bodies breasting the currents
Or beaten back in cascades and rapids
The mad ones and the bad ones
Still or in freefall
It’s all One Body
Outside of Time
Stumbling forward
Into the jammin’

The body count is rising…

What beast is being born?

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