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Existential Leaper

by Richard Spiegel
1999 BardPress of tenpenny players, inc. 393 Saint Pauls Avenue, Staten Island

The Other Brother Musings Music I Look Sams Sublime Trick 3 5




drawings by the author

The Other Brother

Summertime soon dusts our time. My tooth is sweet still into its decaying days, though, set to begin my singing this ending song that knows no ones up for it. With the dew that fogs the morning, children who were never meant to be are here with us, exalting the mud and the berries of our season.. Seth says to the stars, Gather me into your night. The years of light shall we divide with only chance by our side. The dove we grasp is nestled in splinters. Silence is the howl that grows within me: Be not bleak nor Blake, but break out of it. Its the sky song that never stops though the voice wearies pregnant with departure. Leaping the abyss we land in the mud. I told you so you could 3

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. Genesis IV:26

forget it soon as its said. Arising out the womb, Seth, contemplates the descent and smiles. On the blank surface sit paper pads, books, spectacles, clay, tissues, cables, computers, a tin in a tall glass. Seth comes nosing into my words and paces the intricate carpet beneath our dust.


Are we contained in cardboard boxes? Prison cells? Bureaucracies that shut us off and turn the locks are staking psyche's territory; but we collude too easily, taking what we find at hand then brooding over changes. These bureaus contain moments of yesterday's crash. Unclocked comments race with fantasies and lies along the synapse of knowing, while pretenders to power stay doggedly perched.

What holds the aging errors of Eros? What frames the delusions in the East Side galleries? All certainties tumble as fractals upon the once upon a time as the telling is tongued.

Last Thursday I drove out to Rikers Island to meet with teachers students and the principal who was making pancakes for the paras.

Island Academy is a prefabricated rectangle, a warren of classrooms and offices with a bubble for the c.o. Ten years ago inmates were painting the walls, preparing for the new school; now students exhibit their art in a glass case.

And that force directing each motion to turn in upon itself without opening the self to another's grasp -- must contend with a counter force turning on the outside of the act and closing upon the gesture's aim. Who's held in place beside me, for the moment, will gather momentum in the current of speech; each word is ledgered illegibly vaguely leading to our redemption.

There are frequent exemptions flung shivering into the dreadful uncertain. Memories hold the times she would dance upon a whim, take pleasure for her comfort, and weep her passage in ecstasy.

Those who are expelled from their class or barred entry to their school will still be taught.

After hiding under tables and overturning desks, he came with me to the computer lab to tell his story. Then he wrestled with his printed words; struggling with characters in context.

With uncertainty I trace your form dissolving into random day dreams, into a tense soft sung turbulence bleeding through the silent and still touch where I lose myself in curves of light, planes of pressure, and the open chord . . . We play at school studiously examining reflections that disperse and reassemble, shimmering mirrorings afloat in whirlpools, rapids, vortices, calms, and eddies.

Your city, with her sorrows in hiding like fugitive lovers who look out soot paned windows on ambiguous grey stained courtyards abiding lost years' secrets, borrows solace from urban jug bands.

That painting - I've half hidden with books, cassettes, head phones, and electric boxes uneasily speaks in yellows and greens of burdened rectangles and bold black lines. Working in acryllics, she once painted - on the bathtub in the kitchen of the railroad apartment we sublet on East Fifth Street near Avenue A - flower children dancing to the mute porcelain pulse.



When the ear first heard silence embedded in sound, song stirred cradles of consciousness.

In primitive times when man awakes in a world that is newly created, poetry awakes with him. In the face of the marvelous things that dazzle and intoxicate him, his first speech is a hymn simply. He is still so close to God that all his meditations are ecstatic, all his dreams are visions. His bosom swells, he sings as he breathes. --- Victor Hugo, Preface to Cromwell (1827)

Nathan, from Ratchonz, closed his plumbers store in Williamsburg and opened an ice cream parlor in Bridgeport, where the piano played itself for a nickel, and sometimes Belle accompanied Charles on violin. Morris worked in an antenna factory surrounded by static. Minds imagine vibration. Children at the Met play toy recorders. 11

Martin, from Herricks, strummed his guitar but did not join the band where Clifford bit on the reed of his tenor sax dreaming of jazz clubs. At the Eastman School, John spread his fingers across the keyboard. Heartbeats audibly accompany a constant drumming pumping life into streets.

Before breakfast students sang, Dank U fr diese neuve morgen, and at night in the church cellar Mary played on her autoharp. Tuesday afternoon Gertrude spoke of verse while Roni dreamt words that danced on her tongue.



Sams Sublime Trick

At home watery shadows splashed across carpeted floors. A bamboo curtain separated the living room from the bedroom. His father smoked cigars. His mother fed him definitions. He flowed. His teachers spoke in spiked statements with ginger breath. He weighed aspirations from moment to year and past the walls round clock. He leaped over chasms and oceans. He navigated nights and sailed the seasons surface.



What? you ask. I dont say a thing, a silent language operates unconscious. My tongue stays a part of me; the hermit in my mouth. I type words apart from the world: mere words. The more I am here all are here with me. Are you with me? There you sit now in that chair and here I sit in this chair. Is your response, more conscious than mine, less wanting? Youre conscious of many things that I am not. You sit on your chair and wonder. I move the words near you.

I look