Oct 052015
 

pre and beach 7 11 092

 

Book A:  Nominative part one:  israël (from Genealogy of the First Person)

iii.       israël             To begin without a book: the eye of all reversals caved into nothing. long walked the I beneath this name, its banners. Not this name; the voice is cavernous, leads into an underworld, an invisible place. The voice speaks another one, a son of a father who never departed. I am not that one. The voice speaks another one in whom the future blossoms as stars upon heaven’s abyss. Whither the name of another self, a self before the event of g-d’s hands on a thigh of perishing? If only the wind would smite one self that the other comes to light. To light in shadow: the self out of names, rekindled to ashes. a future. Future without writing, without the book; a future less vivid.

 .

*                                                          *                                                          *

 .

the song breaks
over the genealogy
of the first person

illumined places

between two rivers
of satisfaction
& desire

.

a song of crisis

………..two futures coiled
…………………within you
………..two forces rend
………………..the unbroken wheel

………..one holds one

………..the greater shall serve the lesser [25.23]

 

.

*                                                          *                                                          *
.

I am bound to another.                   I am a self                  divided. The other self
walks ever ahead, walks                              apart                           from my walk, strikes

fire on ragged skin                           is a grip upon the heel and ankle

 

 

            *                                                          *                                                          *

 

 

(his grip was light on the river’s meander                      light on the distant mountain)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

another self
that I am
not
I am behind
the other
turning self
that I
am not

.

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

someone forbade my father, saying

……………………………………….do not go under
                                                …..here     remain upon this
                                                     ….. .      land.    [26.2]

and my father was laid open to all seeing and blessings
and oaths of old washed over him, over me

and the lord appeared and the lord spoke, saying

………………………………………do not go under

….                                                into the west, emblem
     ……                                                       of down-going,

                                                ….a river cleaves
                                                ….sunder desert
                                                ….sands untold.

 …                                                I will overflow
     …                                           the stars of heaven
         …                                       within you

 ..                                                a sacred land                 

                                               ….a          garden
                                                   ….         from
                                                     .  ..     my voice a great
                                                …tree of intricate
                                                    .  ..      design

                                                 a law of signs & things to come        [26.4-6]

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

I
am the living
inheritance
of dissemblance: I

make an
other self

as my father
&
his father
before him.

I am the other self    that                 I           am not.

a tide of promise
drifts me
among herds
and beasts
of burden.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

……*the second fourth day*

twin lights rose out of the g-d’s poetic hand

one light pursues the first
first light of first beginning
caught by the heel

a second light disseminates
itself as stars

a fractured light to overcome
the principality
of day

and so it was, the fourth day                      [1:16]

 

 

            *                                                          *                                                          *

 

(his grip was light on the sea          on the desert sands)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

(every moment

I was                                                                                       I was

 already
……….not)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

In the dream I am a lapsing cave. From the scree a boulder tumbles slowly, alights
upon a spring and I am the water and the rock.

The spring is quiet.

The boulder rests.

A voice opens from beneath the spring and the rock is split and I am not the voice. I
am not
the voice.

I am the unsounded echo on the cusp of the voice’s word.

Across a land of bone and sand like stars the echo’s course flows: the echo is the un-
open spring, the quiet spring; containment is a destiny of beginning.

A generation not yet arrived.

In the dream I am not yet myself.

In the dream is no self but the future self. The echo of a word                        formed
in the distant past (another life) not yet sounded.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

a name is not a conclusion not a thing accomplished

a name is that toward which one strives. a locus
of yearning.

a future.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

 

I begin in another name, a name
clung to wings of flame, to
a body of fire.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

I am the other self    that                 I           am not.

 

 

            *                                                          *                                                          *

(his grip was light on the wind-swept cedars       light on the dome of heaven)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

(In the dream I am at the edge of a broad ford. A fortress is carved into the sandstone beyond the river. The mountains are the horizon, the sky is the cradle of my self.   The river is red. I am the edge of the river, its bank. There is a man of light, a man of voluted noise. A trumpet sounds from his face which is no face—emptiness recedes beneath his hood. My leg dies.)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

 

master of all appearance
like unto the one lord
and g-d           I cloak my-

-self in the skin of an-
-other

I am interior
(dis-)
(-) guised ever
in the other
self                  the torn
self from first
beginning

mantle of hearth
put aside, don mantle
of one who is ever shorn

just as the g-d edged
over the surge, the
heaving deep of oblivion, edged,
guised as the breath
gathers itself towards
speech & the word & the alienation
of making

I vanish          as a self
into another & another & another

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

(his grip was light on the riverstones        on the bulge of my thigh)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

My father spoke, I heard through the tent slit; another self faced him, clothed in ruddy, bristled hair :

………Summer was on the face of your mother and the men of a strange land
            enclosed her in desire. Fear pulled itself over me–

                        “she is my sister.”

            And the Lord blessed me, then, in the formation of dissonance.
            And I was increased & I grew abundant and I was exalted
            unto the Lord and I was sent away.

            In a canyon I settled and there I dug my wells and I named them with the names
            my father had named them. I sank a well in the canyon floor and I found
            there the spring of living water.        And we did battle over the well
            and we named it a different name:               Injustice.         [26.7-20]

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

(his grip was light on the canyon rim       on the villages far away)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

closed selves in
search of other
selves, a garden
of concealment:

………..piety.

………..righteousness.

what is
closed
in

the quietus
of self.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

every moment                       I was                           I was               already                       not.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

I           was     alone.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

veil of night, before
me my people

ford the great waters

solitude
exposes me

 

 

strife
descends—blessing
of another life—
from everywhere
crests out
of the swift
waters
rises
from the dust

 

face before
my face

 

turbulent
in its
endless
blossoming—

 

poised, sway
in ancient gripe &
strain
against, against

strove beneath
the wheeling night
torn from its roots

immanent daybreak un-
-closes
force that is undone
a force that is
no force

without my
force, my
opposition

the flattened thigh
the grasp
of the divine

I wrest a fate
from its
cavern of oblivion

electrocuted, a
deadened thigh
a light
ascendant, jerked
free from
night’s hold

a voice, a handle
on my whole soul—

 

daybreak
broke from
his word

his word broke the night, opened
day—

……….you are night & day, you
            are earth & water, you are
            cloven self:      image of g-d.              [32:25-26]

I spoke into
the daybreak
of the other voice—

……….give the night & day
            unto me, give me stars                      [32:27]

and the other voice
at once
spread over
the canyon of self
and self

another name
a blessing

the voice rises

……….among g-d, among
            men, their faces blooming
            for an instant

            another name, name
            of struggle—  no longer Iakob—      Israël

            among g-d, among
            men, their faces
            blooming for an
            instant            your grasp encloses
                        a destiny, the force
                        of all down-going
                        the broken night within your
            ……                                                          self                  [32:29]

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

I am alone in the brittle morning  my people before me
beyond the river. The day shears words from my doubled
self:

………………………..this place

I hear the words
grist the
fractured earth

………………………..this crossing
                                    of gods & man:

 

words fallen
to the fractured
earth, scuttled
over red earth
just above the
ford

.

………………………imago dei

.

the name
springs from my breathless face

.

…………………….imago dei.                   [32:31]

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

In the dream that is no dream I am dead in the thigh, I limp to the water, I peer
into the early light scattered on the other shore.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

image to image         seeing place against seeing place   seen and unseen

joined
(clutches the joint, handle
unbreakable—thigh
dead;
clutch the other
voice, I
grasp & grasp, ruined
on the leg, strife
guides me)

the place
is an origin

light of day
translated
from middle-
night

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

In the dream the g-d shapes a ladder of darkness, strikes it into the earth & into heaven. The g-d’s messengers, the angels rise & descend: they climb as light, as lesser shadows pass through & across a cloud of darkness. The g-d forbids the terror, avows protection

I am sand, numberless
as sand
& starlight.

 

& when wakefulness arose within me I spoke to the g-d, saying:

……….g-d in this place
            amidst my oblivion—a crisis
            of fear & wonder.

            here:    the g-d’s house.

            here:    the gate of heaven.”               [28:16-17]

 

I sink a tall stone upon the ladder’s lower end; I am an agent of dissemblance.

I encrypt the g-d’s house, the one path of up & down, the tether of shadow joining heaven & earth.

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

(his grip was light in the lightning settled on my thigh
……………………………………………………………..in the circling wonder of my eyes)

 

 

*                                                          *                                                          *

 

altered gate
a step
unhinged

upon me the sun rose

 

—D. M. Spitzer

Read earlier portions of this poem:

Ishmaël: from Genealogy of the First Person

Isaak: from Genealogy of the First Person

.
After undertaking graduate studies in liberal arts, philosophy, and classics (each at different institutions), D. M. Spitzer completed a Master of Fine Arts in writing (poetry) at Vermont College of Fine Arts.  Mr. Spitzer’s first book, A Heaven Wrought of Iron, will be published by Etruscan Press in Spring/Summer 2016. Current poetic projects include:  the afterword to a collection called mousika, which presents transfigurations of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets & the Latin texts of the psalms used by Igor Stravinsky in his Symphony of Psalms; an essay to accompany a new transfiguration of the poem by the early Greek philosopher Parmenides, tentatively (re-) titled Figures of Being; and continued work on the large-scale hybrid project Genealogy of the First Person. Mr. Spitzer is currently a doctoral student in comparative literature at Binghamton University (SUNY), where he  concentrates on the relationship of poetry to philosophy as it occurs in early Greek thinking and the work of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and others. He lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife & their three children.

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