Eric Magrane is the editor of Spiral Orb, an experiment in permaculture poetics.
All the Houses of the Past Have Burnt Down
last week & almost twenty years ago
we drove up the coast
a feeling somewhere between the world opening up
and a grey sky—
there is grey in the road
that is the grey of time
the feeling is that we are outside of time
while being completely within it:
is the memory of a place the same as the place itself?
Everything is closer together it seems. Sometimes rainy, sometimes just grey, a grey were not used to these days while we live in the desert.
there is looking back & looking forward
but I like to think we can look at time from all directions
walking around the shell of the house
I pointed out where the dining room was,
where I sat one Thanksgiving, then the staircase
& the rooms above.
what is left still smells like ash.
it is cold but holds fire.
that person—that vulnerability—
was life going to be something else
or was it always going to be just like this—
The town was everything and nothing like I remembered. Sleepy, nostalgic salt air. To be honest, it felt depressed, depressing. We arrived in the dark and walked, slept listening to the water. Had breakfast, stopped into a store and talked to someone who knew D. & S. when they lived here.
I dont know where I begins and ends.
I dont know how to answer your questions.
Who I was and who I am is the same.
The center of the universe
must be everywhere at once.
The windows are all gone.
There is nothing left dividing inside from outside.
White-Throated Swifts at Cliff Palace
in evening as the light shifts
swifts angle in & swoosh
into the crevice & disappear up
they disappear into rock
they disappear into centuries
do they into smoke
do they into layers
of soot & time
on the ceiling of rock
Its been snowing for two days
weve got a couple feet.
All the corpses in coffins
unburied, waiting to rot.
Its been raining here, so muddy
I cant get my van out of the driveway.
We have a way of keeping
spirits from leaving their bodies.
Not as much snow here on the coast,
freezing rain, sheets of ice.
At the cemetery,