February 02, 2007

Letter to the Nations of the Earth

Stop barking at the impressive few! Stop holding hands with princesses!

If apples immunize you from doctorates of theology,

Whence comes our American mythology?

Our ears are bended upwards towards the silent hurricanoes!

On the distant horizon I see a staggering stentorian bucket of wishes!

But I've forgotten the appropriate terminology,

And she lost hers studying visionary mycology.

Can you rhyme with the goddesses? Can you appreciate Pluto's distant credibility?

The shaman is kneeling before our ancient trance, a silhouette.

And apples & bananas & oranges grow carcinogenically

From this barren desert dirt, nourishing, organically.

I am in Nevada! Our Lady of the Deep Mountain Lake is lost in annunciation,

I am in the Western Zephyr! At least I glanced the graces chasing her magic shadow.

And railways remember to comply fiscally

With demands of the land & its fecund buoyancy.

But whence comes our American Symphonies? Where's our newest cultural mecca?

Like in Mauritius, the rats & pigs ate the last Giant Turtle egg.

Like in the hills of New Zealand, they had to relocate that inflatable parrot.

Like in Canada, men with puppets & cycle-planes are rehabilitating whooping crane chicks.

Like a pot of golden toads in Central America that has been boiled & evaporated.

And like the reefs - O my God, I can't go on.

O bless the corral & may its descendants bear fruit perceived by the voyager,

Forever & ever. Amen.

Start singing the blues of futurity! Start reversing the rapture, pending an antepenultimate postponement!

If apples are the first cessation in a chain

Of metempsychosis, ending with the resurrection of Cain...

But no! The verses will grow longer! Longer than the queues of transcendental poetry at the market!

Off the page she'll blow you furiously! Down the circular library thru the craters below the Earth!

But I've forgotten where the escalator takes the rain,

And we'll finally be done with these damn'd biblical allusions, the pain.

Can you dance with harps on your loins! O can you understand these made-up words!


Thomas Merton said...

The attachment of the modern American to his
automobile, and the symbolic role played by his car,
with its aggresive and lubric design, its useless
power, its otiose gadgetry, its consumption of fuel,
which is advertised as having almost supernatural
power . . . this is where is study of American
mythology should begin.

Meditation of the automobile, what it is used for,
what it stands for - the automobile as weapon, as
self-advertisement, as brothel, as a means of suicide,
etc. - might lead us at once into the heart of all
comtemporary American problems: race, war, the crisis
of marriage, the flight from reality into myth and
fanaticism, the growing brutality and irrationality of
American mores.

Iphigenia said...

Is that where our mythology comes from? What about our pathology? And how do we keep the doctor away?

Thomas Merton said...

We convince ourselves that we cannot preserve our purity of vision and our inner sincerity if we enter into dialogue with the enemy, for he will corrupt us with his error. We believe, finally, that truth cannot be preserved except by the destruction of the enemy - for, since we have identified him with error, to destroy him is to destroy error. . . .

If we really sought truth we would begin slowly and laboriously to divest ourselves one by one of all our coverings of fiction and delusion: or at least we would desire to do so, for mere willing cannot enable us to effect it. On the contrary, the one who can best point out our error, and help us to see it, is the adversary whom we wish to destroy. This is perhaps why we wish to destroy him. So, too, we can help him to see his error, and that is why he wants to destroy us.