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A Dialogue of Yous

—for Interdependence Day

To inspire you is to spiral into. No it is not, it is to breathe into. You may breathe all you want but I am watching a galaxy spiral. You can’t see that, the sun is out, besides the time scale forbids, you are inventing yourself again. I am inventing myself, a long spiral from a single point called Wisdom. Whatever that point is called, you cannot possibly escape the simple meaning of words: they are stones against your bare feet. I am a pilgrim, stubbing my toes all the way to the glowing shrine and breathing galaxies—my arms spread wide like the magical arms of stars. Your arms are in pain, like your toes. You always tell me “breathe into the pain,” but the only thing I can do with pain is spiral in to a burning dot of wisdom.



The Brewery of the Arts

—for Herbert Kearney

Herbert left his black hat on the melon couch. I let it sit for days accumulating silent necessity. Words brew in an empty hat and with no equivocation they risk speaking out loud. They are residues of Herbert’s experiments: the horse skull he sits under with heavy pain, the flotation tank lined with fish tank heaters. When all goes wrong—Herbert collapses under the weight of the horse, he spills shivering to the
floor. “Time,” he said, “absorbed me like a stone.” His brewery of the arts is all the more dangerous for being closed.

One morning another head appeared upside down in the hat—about the size and demeanor of a cantaloupe. Eyes veiled with a web of beige veins. The melon spoke new poems. I will claim them as my own. But first I must spit out the seeds and translate them into memories.



Not knowing what they are where they come from what they are for, an infant boy. Innocent, ignorant just this then that. Free of purpose. What is firm what is soft what takes over what makes a point out of no desire but to be itself. Comes and goes rises falls an impromptu an improv a knocking at the door what new guest arrives a headlong spirit of blood urging towards parts unknown. Then later a big joke in the classroom, giggling and a strange pride a secret ingredient an impulse but still mostly a premonition. The afterthought like a moment of quiet curling into itself as if defeat were also whispering in the middle of life, as if death were also calling faintly from a distance your name.



Rodger Kamenetz boards the trains in his dreams with no ticket or any sense of exact destination. You can find his body in the Bywater. He is half-angel and half-haiku. He teaches poetry & dreams, often together—his blog is www.thenaturaldream.com and his own site is www.kamenetz.com. Books: To Die Next To You (Six Gallery), The Lowercase Jew (Northwestern), The History of Last Night’s Dream (HarperOne) and The Jew in the Lotus (Harper). He is working on translations of Max Jacob & a book of prose poems, Palindromes To Harass Sarah Palin