Axis Mundi

Mooyo Neimar: Entering the Navel of the World

One: Womb

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump,
floating here for millennia,
seems like forever,
one-cell two-cell ameoba-minnow frog
reptillian brain stem
morphing
mammalian
tail,
lungs, lobes,
cerebella,
Amniotic Sea.
now dreaming,
sucking a thumb,
cramped, safe,
thump-thump,
thump thump.

Two: Birth

Spewing
into searing fluorescent light.
The cold
unmuffled scorch
of your own highpitched screaming.

Dialectics, man.
You can’t travel
in outer space.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!
The twin orbed goddess
is cradling you, cooooooooooooooing,
too la loo ra loo ral . . .

Three: School

See Dick run. Run, Dick, run.

Listen
up.

The owl and the pussy cat went to sea [. . .]
I tink I taw a puddy tat.

Look,
look!

We loved with a love that was more than a love.

tink a tank a
tunk a tunk tunk.

Four: Adventure

You, the cartoon mouse,
comfy and safe,
peering from a cave,

across a distant fluorescent galaxy
of linoleum
linoleum
linoleum
geometric patterns
accordion-like
pantheistic patterns receding into infinity.

The smell of food, the smell of blood

boom boom boom boom

the thumping of a bass!

Five: Stepping Out

Sighing like a train,
passing through a thicket,
evening’s misty monocle.

Holmes’s hat, a hound’s tooth,
footprints in the mole-tunneled mush:
mold – musk – rotting humus.

Over your shoulder
the fading village lights
blinking – sinking – no more –

* * *

It’s getting near dark – follow the prints,
the staggering Prince,
What if [he (the bastard)] tempt you

toward the flood [. . .]
or the dreadful summit of a cliff [. . .]
beetl[ing] o’er his base [. . .]

What if? Think. Placenta,
playpen, pup tent.
Too la loo la rhy.

* * *

Siren’s song, scratchy recording,
fly me to the moon.
that’s one small step

The lake, like a moat,
two oars, a boat, flat bottomed,
wooden, warped.

Gliding through the mist, an owl’s
desolate four notes,
lakewater lapping, lisping, yes!

Six: Jonah *

Swallowed up!
fright of fall, diminishing scream, right
flailing, tumbling, per second
per second, cartwheeling, and
disappearing
black reek,
splashing,

swimming,
clinging to flotsam
luce muto.

Walk this way ?

Yes.

Oui, da. si si

O, C., CC Ryder

Going like mad [,] and yes[,]

I said yes I will yes.  And there was a stair,

and,

I walked 

right 

up.

Seven: The Axial Age

Demographics, man,
the cloak of invisibility,
you can travel in outer space,

diving into the dark,
driving like a bat,
exploiting the mazes of Old Milwaukee,

your own heart thumping,
flipflopped foot stomping the accelerator,
“Quark, erg, quark, erg, quark, erg,”

Boom – out go the lights.
The spinning stops.
Thunderous silence.

* * *

Up through the attic door
you enter the Bardo,
skipping the Pythagorean,

skirting the Druidic sacrifice,
ambiguous moans, the panting,
the rasp of ripping silk.

Dimly aware of the ecstatic static electricity,
flipflopped, through the portal
of the seven sacred vowels, you pass,

ignoring the Good News,
dismissing desert deprivation,
avoiding eye contact w/ warrior and virgin.

* * *

The rotary motion of samsara ceases.
Matter doesn’t matter.
Form is

Emptiness.
Emptiness
form.

uncreated
all pervading
immaterial

impersonal
self-existing
indestructible

Eight: Glimpsing the Goddesses *

An open door
at the top of the stairs.
Safe and sound,

you enter the deepest
chamber of all the temple
all the tea in China

There is a velvet couch,
two sacred serpents
entwined like lianas.

* * *

too la loo ra loo ral
knitting up the raveled sleeve of care
twin orbs, sun and moon,

too la loo melting into perfect crystaline unconsciousness
la ral



* * *
For six days you sleep
then arise

not you
not I
not we

thump thump
thump thump

Nine: Going Home **

Exhausted ogres with denture breath and walkers,
witches in wheelchairs,
dragons flattened like frogs.

A tip of the hat
Daisy, Daisy
not a cloud in the sky.

The boogie man’s
diabetic, his
feet swaddled in gauze.

The big bad po-please-man,
porcupine buzzcut, obese,
blowing bubbles on a park bench.

The unforgiving nun,
now near ninety or so,
suffering a sponge bath.

Look, Jonathan Edwards
bowing to you
as you whistle a tune:

O Daisy, Daisy,
I’m half crazy
too la loo la loo

Ten : Again, the Threshold *

The lake, a mirror,
the sky, a mirror,
Mirror, mirror [. . . ]

A sail, a skiff,
glitter of sun rays
The receding temple

as unsubstantial
as the coast of Connemara
wrapped in mist.

Too la loo la loo ral
Too la loo la lye

The sun climbing,
the cove
coming into view.

No cliffs here – just a
path of pine straw
in the forest.

No big bad wolves or
gingerbread houses.
Or fathers’ ghosts.

Thump thump
goes the heart.
Thump thump
goes the earth.
Thump thump
go the drums.

Eleven Two Brains, Two Worlds

But you and I’ve, we’ve been through that,
like this, like this and that,

like the reptilian: the Inquisitions, the jihads,
like man, like been there, like done that.

Like the neo cortex: Sanskrit, Pali, Linear B,
algebra, calculus.

like the motion of twin orbs,
like the valley of the shadow

as if silence is whispering something
there, in the silence, some thing

whispering
there

no here
no here, right here, right now. Now!

Twelve: OM

Advice to Method Actors Playing Charles Bukowski

Drew Friedman's Portrait of Charles Bukowski

Portrait of Charles Bukowski by Drew Friedman

Click the grey arrow above for sound.

Advice to Method Actors Playing Charles Bukowski

First, you gotta plow and pit your face
so infants in strollers burst bawling
when they see you on the sidewalk pacing,
stopping, grabbing your pen, scrawling
lines that stagger like drunks across
a coaster lifted from some shit hole joint
in East L.A. You gotta, of course, toss
down at least a fifth of rotgut and do a couple of joints
before noon. Feel the hurt her repulsion brings
when you notice the cute salesgirl wince.
Whine about the wine, the tattered wings
of that heartbreaking filly Pegasus.
Think Milton’s Satan in a methadone clinic,
self-destructive, self-loathing, sardonic.

~Wesley Moore

Oh, the years, the years

“Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.” Thomas Hardy

Whenever a depressing thought intrudes upon my ghostly solitude – like this morning’s revelation that each swallowed Zoloft represents one fewer day of life, another grain of the hourglass gone – I thank my lucky stars for my friend of forty-plus years, Thomas Hardy, whose desolate view of life paradoxically provides comfort.

I first encountered Hardy in the 8th grade when a sadistic teacher made us read The Return of the Native, a novel that Clare Keating and Katie Hickey describe as “an anthropological treatise on the dying practices of English rural culture.”

And she’ll have fun, fun, fun /Till her Daddy takes her T-Bird away!

The teacher, a withered-armed victim of polio, was married to the only taxi driver in town, a man she considered her intellectual inferior, so certainly she had legitimate reasons for being bitter. (She, if you’ll forgive the phrase, wore her biography on her sleeve, slightly too long, half-covering the bad left hand).

Nevertheless, assigning thirteen-year-olds a syntactically difficult novel set on a barren heath, a novel dealing with the themes of illicit sexual unions and tragic blind fate might not be the best recipe for nurturing “life-long readers.”

Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbra Ann.

So, of course, based on my one pubescent encounter, I avoided Hardy, whom I associated with endless tracts of barren waste, unintelligible dialect, and blighted lives.

Hardy

Nevertheless, my sophomore year at Carolina, I became reacquainted with Hardy, not in his more famous role as a novelist, but Hardy the poet, and it amounted to a Road-to-Damascus reversal.  One reading of his sonnet “Hap” and I was hooked.

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!”

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.

But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?
—Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

Architecture 10 by Daniel Cacouault    Architecture 10 by Daniel Cacouault

Later, I came to appreciate the novels themselves, especially Tess and The Mayor of Casterbridge; however, it’s still the poetry that does it for me, and perhaps my favorite is “During Wind and Rain.”

I invite you to read the last line aloud and to note and enjoy your mouth and tongue forming the plosives  – it’s indeed a celebration of life.

They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss—
Elders and juniors—aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years,
See, the white storm-birds wing across.

They are blithely breakfasting all—
Men and maidens—yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them—aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

thomas-hardy-tombstone