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March 26, 2010

poem: in the caves below

by sven at 7:00 am


A prose poem inspired by the collage I made at Sara Swink's Two-Day Creative Process Workshop last year.

in the caves below

We can no longer distinguish ourselves from the moving parts of the machines we've constructed, inside of which we work.

We have built boxes and cubes for ourselves to live in; and in due course our beings have taken on the shape of the spaces we inhabit.

Even our dreams are dull and predictable. For entertainment we watch images streamed though boxes; so when we sleep, often we find ourselves acting out re-runs from TV.

But beneath all this there still lie ancient caves. There are subterranean spaces blocked off by accumulated junk and barricades and cave-ins... But they can yet be reached.

The shaman who crawls in the dark, whose magic wand is a pen, casting premonitory lines in black blood ink... If he is willing to go far enough into the mines, will find his way down to the womb-shaped rooms where the handprints of ancestors are still marked on the wall in red and white paint.

And deeper still, submerging in the wellsprings of consciousness, he might swim down into the earth cracked river from which life proceeds, seeking the skeletons of...

Of who? His dreams? Ancestors? Former selves? To whom do these bones belong, sunk to the very bottom of it all?

While far above, the machines ache with routine, the orbits of decay maintained -- there is a mystery here, at the source of all things.

He holds his breath again and again, diving down to those remains, trying to identify who they were. Where they came from. How did they come to rest here?

January 22, 2009

posted by sven | March 26, 2010 7:00 AM | categories: poetry