Thursday, October 12, 2006


Sorrow. Speaking. Sonnets.

If we lived in a world without tears
how would bruises find
the face to lie upon
how would scars find skin
to etch themselves into
how would broken find the bones

How would misery know
which back door to walk through
how would trouble know
which mind to live inside of
how would sorrow find a home
--Lucinda Williams, "World Without Tears"

Fall always makes me feel melancholy. This morning I watched the leaves falling from the trees and heard the rush of wind through the branches and could taste the metallic tang of coming winter softened by the sweetness of wet ground and I knew: there are no words for this. There is description, but it's empty; there are photographs, but they are shadows on the wall of the cave; this is the immediate, the Real (as a Lacanian might say), the f'ing SUBLIME. Or as Goethe put it in a section of Faust that I read for class today, "In awe one feels profoundly the immense."

So, struggling for meaning--and in one of my classes this afternoon, no less (two hour seminars can feel dreadfully long, even with the best of subject matter)--I wrote about not being able to write, and the absence of meaning. Ta-da. One contradiction, coming right up, with a side salad and cottage cheese. Note also the lines that I cribbed more-or-less verbatim from William Shakespeare and the Book of Ecclesiastes, respectively.

Sonnet, for Autumn

I fear that there is nothing left to write--
The well of words I drilled has now gone dry;
I've given over being to this blight,
Destroyed by that which I was nourished by.
The passions moving me I can't express:
Leaves raining down in storms of red and gold,
The sweet and silken feel of hand's caress,
So sharply felt, unable to be told.
All is vanity, there is no hope,
So let my burn my papers, break my pen;
When emptied of their meaning, shrunk in scope,
What use is word and wonder to me then?

Faced with the All, all language falters, dead;
All I can say is: nothing can be said.

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