All Landscape is Abstract, and Tends to Repeat Itself

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All Landscape is Abstract, and Tends to Repeat Itself

by Charles Wright
Southern Cultures, Vol. 7, No.3: Fall 2001

"Still, who knows where the soul goes . . . after the light switch is turned off, who knows?"

I came to my senses with a pencil in my hand
And a piece of paper in front of me.
To the years
Before the pencil, O, I was the resurrection.
Still, who knows where the soul goes,
Up or down,
after the light switch is turned off, who knows?
It’s late August, and prophets are calling their bears in.
The sacred is frightening to the astral body,
As is its absence.
We have to choose which fear is our consolation.
Everything comes ex alto,
We’d like to believe, the origin and the end, or
Non-origin and the non-end,
each distant and inaccessible.
Over the Blue Ridge, the whisperer starts to whisper in tongues.
Remembered landscapes are left in me
The way a bee leaves its sting,
hopelessly, passion-placed,
Untranslatable language.
Non-mystical, insoluble in blood, they act as an opposite
To the absolute, whose words are a solitude, and set to music.
All forms of landscape are autobiographical.