Life Without Principle
quality of light
that collects like sand along water in his favorite minor landscape.
There is no consequence of beauty, he says, but that we endure.
I walk north
out of habit.
Others pass, north and south, obscure, briefly forgetting the habits
that brought them, and that habits have histories which precede them.
Dusk is the habitual
decay of light
into livid amnesia, giving endurance to those who forget themselves,
or to those among us who, unable to forget, refuse themselves.
I have refused
and now resemble myself without consolation. He follows me
for hours, choking slowly on syllables about the lengthening
that refuse clarity
for the interrogative of darkness, those uncertain wavelengths that pose
a question without asking one, like Thoreau's one-sentence paragraph,
the one with no answer
but embarrassed silence,
"Let us consider the ways in which we spend our lives."
I used to worry about the pleasure
I realize, as the dry years continue,
I strive for true ignorance
Like the finest arts, it helps me confuse chaos for order.
Time passes, no longer