Yellow Brick Road

A Journal by Don Gerz

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"Flying" by Don Gerz
dongerz


          
         
          Startled in my dream, I flew to your soul

Through the fullness of space and time,

Through the thick voids of empty matter,

To everyone and all, to where you might be.

 

Progress was easy at first, my speed unfettered by partially

  congealed particles strewn and adrift upon perpetual seas and

  undulating in measureless waves.

Undeterred by parties we danced at and kissed into long ago

  nights, I removed the mask we artfully crafted to reflect

  clever faces and camouflaged wiles, the thickened smiles

  painted with purposes ordained by numberless dilemmas and

  enigmas we actually solved (yet we left each other torn and

  unresolved).

Detached from our hopes and sometimes forbidden desires and

  acts, I saw stale time dragging its hours through the furrows

  of our prior passions and rotting upon desolate altars and

  neurotic shrines somewhere west of satisfaction.

And I made fluid headway without the crutched and dripping

  clocks we hung on our faces, faces set to times we never could

  tell and never could keep, to times and seasons out of joint

  with us and who we used to be when we were just we.

        

 

Shifting in my dream, I flew to your soul

Through the fullness of time and space,

Through the thick voids of empty matter,

To everyone and all, to where you could be.

 

Plunging into the sifting emptiness of the sand like nothingness

  that is matter, I chipped away the edges of my substance,  

  those harsh musings, thoughts idle and merely speculative, the

  cells of imagination, fire, no doubt blood itself, of our

  futures coalescing and pasts once commingled, but presently

  separate, of bruising materiality now slamming against

  immortal fruition with fitful slowings, with many jolts and  

  surges within deathless bodies and souls.

Then finally through buildings, bridges, oceans, walls, skies,

  and earth my body streamed and pierced through every  

  obstruction and impediment to you.

I surged through rivers and stars, darkness and black holes,

  voids and droves, through anything, everything, everywhere, 

  anywhere and everyone all.

          

 

Shattered and dispersed within my dream,

Annihilated, I flew to your soul

Through the fullness of space and time,

Through the thick voids of empty matter,

To everyone and all, to where you would be.

 

My body began to lose its form, maintained its substance in a

  truer way.

Atom for atom was exchanged, was sown and laced within all I

  flew through, within all height and width and depth of

  everything known and unknown,

Through electrical plants and steel, through concrete, trees,

  and stray dogs, through byways and expressways, insects and

  dread, cause and effects, and lead, through sacred liturgies  

  and vacant lots and parks to name but only a few, through

  swords and whispers, through the mating songs of every May

  throng, through London and Bombay, through various national

  and world affairs, through each city, population, race, and

  time, through ancient wisdom, modern texts, and future

  designs---through these and through many more, I once again  

  saw you.

          
        

          Serene in that dream, I planted my soul

Within the fullness of time and space,

Within the thick voids of empty matter,

In everyone and all, forever with you.



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Gosh, Don. I think this is my favorite poem of yours I've ever read. I'm honestly quite stumped as to where to begin. My immediate thoughts are when did you write it and what was it's inspiration. I might be able to pick a favorite stanza. My first thought is this one: "Detached from our hopes and sometimes forbidden desires and

acts, I saw stale time dragging its hours through the furrows

of our prior passions and rotting upon desolate altars and

neurotic shrines somewhere west of satisfaction."

It makes me want to write about time as a dog and question whether tail wags dog or the opposite. That said, there's really a lot here. A lot of love, a lot of humanity. And that single-minded drivenness which I think I've maybe only seen from someone in love. Like the noonday sun outshines the stars, it's simply bigger and brighter than everything else a billion times over. You simply can't see anything else save it's radiance and glow. This seems to depict that very well I think.

Thank you for your perceptive critique, Brit. I'm glad you like “Flying,” as it is one of my favorites, too! To answer your question about its background, here it is:

I wrote it in 1995, and its original title was “Through Void and Matter.” There were two influences in its construction:


1.) Deepak Chopra's conception of what he terms “the quantum mechanical human body.” Chopra (an endocrinologist from India trained in the West) bases his idea of the quantum body on subatomic/quantum mechanic physics, recent discoveries in neurobiology, and the view of the human body (and matter in general) as derived from the ancient Hindu Vedas and Upanishads. (As you know, Eliot was highly influenced by the Upanishads.)

2.) A dream I had while on vacation on North Carolina's Outer Banks. I believe the dream was prompted by Chopra's writing and probably aided in part by spending a couple of hours in the Wright Brothers' Museum at Kitty Hawk the afternoon before. In the dream, I was flying through matter. . .all sorts of strange objects! It was very surreal. (I had not been taking drugs, so wipe that smile off your face! :-)

Some years ago, I wrote my interpretation of the dream. Here it is:

“Our dreams are able to reveal the world as it could be, not as our conditioned perceptions and minds typically predetermine it to be. When dreaming, we are sometimes more awake than when lucidly fixing our attentions on the day's business. We have not the courage or vision to perceive difficult things; yet even physicists now tell us that matter is as Swiss cheese, that all voids are not even remotely empty, and that something they can't measure has always created everything from nothing. Love goes awry when we reason and act on unexamined assumptions of scarce metaphysical resources and upon unconscious expectations of becoming less than we can be. Who are we? We are made of love, by love, through love. When we genuinely love, nothing is able to obstruct our communion with those who have lived, are living, and will live. Time, space, voids, and matter dissolve into a boundless dimension of an infinite presence and the eternally present. When we awaken from our dreams to walk back into the world as it is generally experienced, we are empowered to transform all that seems to be into all that is meant to be.”

Anyway, it’s a pretty good bunch of words. Thanks for spending your time with it, Brit. I hope it benefits you as much as it has me.

Don


Edited at 2014-11-10 07:23 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Thank you, Karen. I thought you might like this one. - Don

Flying

(Anonymous)
This is so beautiful. It should be published.

I did not realize you had written this in 1995 but I will go back to my material and look under another name.

Your writing amazes me, and I am so glad you posted this again.

Marlene

Thank you, Marlene.

Edited at 2014-11-10 07:20 pm (UTC)

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