Skip to main content

The Want - a glosa based on Rilke's poem

I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be

“I am too alone in the world,” Rainer Maria Rilke

To unfold a letter you take two fingers
two thumbs and open the page
straighten it out to find its secret
symbols you have learned to read
the soul’s cravings turning inward
then onto the shining page you hold
pressing it down and wide
undoing the creases carefully
saying in your tense oval mould
I want to unfold.

As the letter needs to be open
to be understood so I must risk
that openness. Must imposing itself
like a scolding woman, the goddess
chained to a rock tireless but trapped
her tongue hung out in a capitalist lair
and I learned how to silence her cries
silencing my own in games of thrones
determined to open new wounds everywhere
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere.

I want to escape the ritual killing
to be a vegan spirit and yet inside there
a drive to unpack and peel back all secrets
coursing through those ancient veins
cruel vivisection, cut and open, examine
my tribe’s howling animal cry
and not be content with shallow abstracts
like peace and justice but a deepening quest
for the menacing how, what, where and why
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.

Almost broken into the drunken nice
the easy to digest pervasive pablum
the democratic flag, the smiley, the clever
digging down to the day we chained nature
to the mind trending new memories yet missing
the whole point of our glorious anthropology
and missing the reason for the search, turning
away from the evidence accusing me
slowing the blood and heart not wanting to see
and I want my grasp of things to be.

(from Infinite Power, Ekstasis 2016. Cover image is a painting by Paul Grignon)


Popular posts from this blog

Letter to BC Ferries

I am a resident of Gabriola and often travel Taylor Bay Road to get to the village.

I have noticed the line up takes cars onto the road where there are bends. Because some of the cars are part way on to the road I must pass on the oncoming traffic lane. This is dangerous because oncoming traffic cannot see me. I move as close as possible to the cars in the line up but still go to the oncoming traffic lane.

It appears that we need more frequent ferries to avoid this long line up. When catching a ferry I get in line as the previous ferry is leaving, which is possible for retired people, but not everyone can do this.

Overburdened line ups also cause some to get too frustrated and do dangerous things. We are all responsible for our own behaviour but so much of our civil society is being destroyed by ruthless economic ideologies.

Climate change, abusive treatment of workers and the economic trend which intentionally pushes people to a deep sense of insecurity, calls for a renewal in comm…

The Truth As the Body Knows It by Lynda Archer

I know the news moves on quickly, but I am still back, as I expect some of you are also, with what occurred in the US Supreme Court a few days ago. I am sharing with you all an essay that I couldn't not write after Dr. Blasey Ford's testimony. Trigger warning for some of what I write. Feel free to share with whomever you wish. And thanks to those who have read earlier versions. You know who you are. 

Continuing from Dr. Blasey Ford’s Testimony, the Truths I Know 

I watched closely the Supreme Court events in the US and found myself becoming increasingly sad, angry and churned up with the process and the ultimate outcome. Spoiler alert. Yes, I clearly side with Dr. Ford and I will over the course of this essay endeavour to show you why. 

I am not myself a survivor of sexual assault or abuse. But at this historic moment I am reminded of all the brave women who I was honoured to treat in my capacity as a clinical psychologist and Assistant Clinical Professor within the Dept. of Psyc…

Anonymous Sources

Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

Let me offer the opinion that greatness comes from extraordinary effort or talent.  Greatness as it may exist in our anonymous ambitions does not win fame except in isolated circumstances.  That is to say, fame is not a realistic goal for an individual.

Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…