Across The Perilous Line, Series III

Across The Perilous Line , Series III


Coil just keeps on coiling
all around the glob.

Mule discovers the tunnel
full of delirious ghosts.

The ghosts kept attempting
to haunt Hammerhead.
He paid it no mind
but lounged all night
at The Old Hotel.

Liberation pertains to Black Lake.
Liberation glides right by Mule.

I pocket my opal.
I think 
all the way through to Crystal--
my tunnel to it
penetrates my gorge. 

There are ghosts in my crystal.

Every being 
intricates her own opal.

Forever to court one's melee
is to iterate, celebrate, liberate--
these three.


How to define The Work:
an image of crystal--
a portentous passage through a tunnel--
an odor of violets.


Habits inform in two ways.

The opal opines the tunnel itself
and leaves a crystal
gleaming before a liberated Hammerhead 
oblivious to the fact he is haunted 
by a feeder trough
of fecund ghosts.

Wrench Boy "cuts coil"
into finer and finer disk-like slices.

A silent Jaguar
stands there like a ghost:

Don't See it-- Be it.


Then the garden and its ornamental opal
silences melee 
and discovers the quiet mole 
and his giant Fork.


The closed Loop
encloses the Gorge and its opal.

This structure
is not what liberates Hammerhead.


When the Fork appears,
best to feint and fade 
toward the fuzzy tunnel,
as Mule steams 
at whose mouth.

Fade toward the Gorge with a chizzel
in your left jacket pocket, another 
in your right
or else an  African Rattle.


If a coil is open,
the thing can serve
as the sign of a hex.


A glob with a mouth--it might just be such an image
that liberates Hammerhead perpetually.


We are in The Old Hotel
holding a Liberation Pot;
that is, 
one set to liberate for one time only
a small mole.

Across The Perilous Line III


The Giant Fork
was festooned with violets
in a twisted loop--
a melee really.
The mule stood motionless and watched it
for many hours
as if it
had been astonished by a ghost.

No more work for him.


Have you ever seen  a mole
stuck in its own tunnel?
Moles dug a loop
under The old Hotel

He grew and grew
but couldn't open his mouth.


Eternal life is a frozen melee.


Hammerhead has a very special mule.

It works its mouth sideways as
it sidles up beside The Old Hotel
out back by the garden:
near here you can see the Giant Mole.


Just because we're liberated
doesn't mean we don't
keep running round in a loop
or that no melee besets us
like a racket of exasperating jaguars.

The moles keep digging up our gardens.

Do we care?



Even now
Black Lake is never obvious.

And even after Hammerhead
took out quiet rooms in The Old Hotel,
he had no way to skry ghosts,
and Moles had no way to gaze into the sky
or dream of Crystal.

Each one has an uncompensated deficiency.

Melee can't sit still.
What can't mouth do?
Hold its form
and shrink to a point
and scurry down a mole hole.


Moles and Wrench Boy
saw a giant fork
stabbing a mountain. Horrible act.

But was seeing that  
some sort of  deficiency?

One might doubt it. But
that Mule will never fit
in the tunnel dug by Moles?

Well, you tell me!


Eternity's Loop
with Eternity's Fork.


A ghost's deficiency
is life in The Old Hotel,
the flourishing of whose gardens
surely will never fade.


Covered by hood and black habit,
a man with a fork 
sat at his pot
having parked his mule.

He conceived it was necessary to indicate
a hidden tunnel
by stabbing a mountain 
with his giant fork
and by continuing to sit there
shaking an African Rattle.

His head was like an opal.

Hammerhead's mule sidled up
stared right into it
and he skried a ghost.


Around and around Eternity's coil,
Moles and Mule did ride
and after eons of doing that 
devised The Old Hotel--
its magnificent deficiency--
its global inconsistency.


A glob of moles
completes the gorge.

Eternity might seem an old hotel
but for the stamping mules,
the digging of moles,
the pulsating globs.

Across The Perilous Line III


Jaguar examined the coil with minute attention.

The closer he looked,
the nearer he came
to Black Lake.

It all became like a garden.

He used a jeweler's loop
to see the minute
segments of the loop.

A mule whinnied restlessly
in the back of his mind
and as he allowed
attention to wander thence,
the segments faded.

First there was but a glob,
then rampant cognitive melee.

And yet the mysterious sense 
of Black Lake's absent proximity
did not abandon The Work.

The sound of an African Rattle
flashed across the garden.

The fluttering passage of something ghost-like
blurred his loop.

For an instant he wondered 
if he might not enlist 
the sound of an African Rattle
to assist in The Work,
that his study might grow like a crystal--pristine, lucent--
and clear the glob.


The point of course was to taste liberation,
and that through the intimate,
intricate beats
that individually comprised 
the African Rattle 
and its rapid, dense, 
and well-nigh continuous susurrus--

well, the sound made the garden vibrate
and appear as a place
extended in time.

Suddenly he saw The Fork
and the figure of a hooded thing--
specter or human, standing
motionless beside it.


A huge mole
moved beneath the garden.

He sensed a tremor
in the waters of Black Lake.

He searched in his pouch for an opal.

When one was not quite given
to concentration on it,
its habitual form was no more
than a smoky glob.
But Jaguar's mouth and jaw
were both relaxed and well-set
as if with zest for the work,
so that pronouncing with exactitude the formulae,
caused the smoky stone
to show up luminous and crystalline,
and where a glob had been--
the finest floral network 
hung there enwreathed of violets.


To pass through the tunnel--all its segments--
divides time;
but ghosts
are lost
in time.

For them the wherewithal to enter upon the work,
to temper mules,
to clear a glob,
is unimaginable.


The Work
and thus the use
of The Old Hotel
is the business of Jaguar.

The transmutation of the Gorge
is thus not ever too much
for him. But still 
it takes 
an ever-finer openness
to time's dividedness,
its continuity,
and beyond that
its in-existence--It takes
time as one sits
in front of a bubbling pot
to feel the terrestrial globe
whirl on its loop
and to bring the obstreperous mule
to obedience and strenuous quietude. 


The Work itself is a perennial loop
not only committed
at the mouth of a garden. 

To pass to opal from glob and return--
to pass through the form of Wrench Boy and come back again--
it cannot be iterated too frequently:
the Coil is not a Garden,
Liberation not only denouement 
in the image of Crystal.
But The Work is like a mule;
The Work engages
10,000 avatars of Hammerhead
to traverse the globe in transfinite many dimensions,
Melee at the roots of the garden,
though the Work be of crystal,
its wagon
is tugged
by a mule. 

Across The Perilous Line III


On the dark altar
a pot and a fork.

The ceremonial chamber
was at the end of a tunnel.

It was constructed to put one in mind
of a darkly ruddy,
profoundly occulted
inside of which we labored.

We were under Black Lake.

Black Lake.

It drained and filled from a loop, perpetually liberated.

About each of the lake's four sides
a violet garden.

And Violet herself
tended the outermost gate of the tunnel

and as daylight began to fade
she removed the ceremonial opal
from a large ceremonial pouch
and handed it to Crystal,
who stood there also.

Mules whinnied
in a dark receding meadow
behind the hallowed precinct.

Black Lake shines like an opal. As the days fade
into the mouth of the light
Violet performs day's obsequies.


We waited.

Crystal and Jaguar
entered the chamber.

"Darkness Visible" yet hallowed--
the quality of being
under Black Lake.

Violet entered,
arms linked with  Melee.

The whinnies of the mules had faded.

Violet smudged the precincts
with the perfumes of her tinctures.

We formed an image
of the surface of the lake,
everyone seated about it.

This was to be a ceremony
for the exchange of names and forms.

I become you, you another, another's other

Crystal gripped The Fork. The Fork
had five tines.

Whoever faced the holder of it . . . etcetera.

The mule would henceforth be addressed and referred to as "Mule."

He was the Inverse of Opal.

Loop teemed with violets
and devolved or evolved as Coil.


Existence took the form of a coil.

Around it, ring after ring, 
a chain of violets,
between whose links, ghosts
received ceremonial cognizance
of their being in future times
and their ectoplasm glistened like crystal.

Opal herself is in essence
a primordial ghost
slightly tinctured by violet,
so long as they wound in the Coil.


In front of the dark altar
and between the officiants,
there rose a globe of crystal
as if from an invisible mind
that worked like system of tunnels
This was The Old Hotel,
the essential locus of The Work,
the site of the oracle pot.
Moles acted as sentinel
together with Mule.

Under the pot
there was a tunnel,
also impossible to witness.

Small handsome females
like sexual zealots
of several metaphysical species
attended the oracle pot;
they were garbed with  hoods and habits.

The energy from their quiet
erotic congress
with each other
and with invisible consorts
exuded an odor of violets
that rose through the existential loop.


Hammerhead welcomed the recently liberated
and faded toward The Mouth.

Then The Mouth itself faded
in a puff of violet odor and color.

There was peristalsis throbbing through the coil.


Black Lake reabsorbed
the various manifestations of Violet.

Gorge was a storehouse
for ten-thousand avatars of Mule.

Pot was a name for Opal.

Wrench Boy was General Witness.

A fist full of violets was ticket to the proceedings.

When you went out 
they gave you a cup
full of tumbled opals
and a looped ribbon 
as token
and a postcard picture of Black Lake.

Then they shook the African Rattle.

Mule turned into an opal,
and you had the distinct impression 
that Violet shriveled.


"Jaguar's Relapse" (so-called) or "Bartleby's Avatar"

He sat
at the bottom
of a huge pot
observing his own
minutest impulses--

to rub his ear,
to scratch a spot--there
on the side of his fork--
that the impulse preceded the act
and that he might demur
if he so chose to.

But to think--and just this thought--
what thought was that?

Already caught in the act
before the act
of slapping the ground
with his pliant tail.

These inaugurations--initiations--
of small performances
came without imperative
like bubbles or rippulets
across Black Lake
so close to the Mothering Dark--
so different from the bossy admonitions
with which he generally composed
events in the course of his existence--
his prowlings and auto-animadversions,
his interminable ratiocinations,
his projects, his lectures
to the other
confederates of the Loop.

For the time being, he thought just to think,
"I prefer not. 
O Bartleby, O humanity."

He allowed a subtle smile
to tweedle his whiskers
and returned to his contemplation,
almost at one 
with the bottom of the pot,
almost absorbed
in Black Lake.

Across The Perilous Line III


Will Wrench Boy cop an attitude toward
this latest escapade of Jaguar?

Cognitive melee.

He too prefers not to open his mouth.
He too seemed squeezed 
in an existential tunnel. Tunnel to what?

Black Lake, possibly.

An attempt to discommode Existence.

If existence were the coils of circumstance,
even if, in an eternal prospect, actually crystal,
liberation through it
requiring an old hotel
and the capacity to keep one's mouth shut;
still, such circumstance were no loop merely,
but criss-crossing tunnels under The Old Hotel.
If you are trapped wandering, questing, searching in there,
liberation means just to get out
and shake your African Rattle,
get out of the pulsating coil.


It matters little if you prefer it or not;
may well be required
to pump you through the tunnel--
existence is no garden
but a constricting coil--
a coil compelled by your habit
to coil up in
inhospitable morphologies.

Crystal was breathless.
Her light withdrew
into the tiny chambers under her facets.

She thought, "I'll stick a fork
into the ground
and trap the tight constriction of a mind
that has compelled its own deep melee
into the self-evolving writhing 
of a long coil.
Violet! Do you hear this?
Existence is a Coil!
It introverted sweet Melee.
If she sets flames to her crazy red headdress
and makes her freckles dance,
will that get her out of it--if she EXISTS?"


"Nah," said Violet,
"Melee doesn't  'exist.'
The coil is just the nemesis of Jaguar.
He's sick of work
in The Old Hotel,
keeping accounts,
constricted into a tiny booth
as concierge and bursar.
The coil itself is a tunnel
in and from and toward
existential predicaments generally.

And anyway, it takes
a maze of tiny tunnels
to undergird a garden;
and loops themselves are transverse segments of worm coils:
they coil--it is their habit--
between the tines of the gardener's fork.
Existence itself is nothing like that--
take it from me--
I've been there."


But a riverine flux of startled ghosts
suddenly flowed out of the worm's mouth
and Melee woke up from her opal.


Violet grew thoughtful
and multiplied her racemes in the windows
of The Old Hotel.

Now she was in a loop
and all she could think of was to make it to Hammerhead,
for whom the existence of such specters was impossible.


Mule knew all about 
recalcitrant preference.
No coil'd catch him.

Let everyone else panic to the point of abject melee.
He'd bide his gorge.


Glob was never given to preference.

His mouth at times absorbed, at time disgorged, Melee
and everything else. 
What did it matter to him
if Existence were river, plain, or coil.

He thought, "Sooner or later it all fades away
around an endless loop,
but I know this:

Existence itself is indeed
a tunnel to Black Lake."