Overcome By Vertigo I Covet The Opalescence of the Diamond
For a long time you can feel that nothing is happening.
Snow falls and you look at the snow.
You look at the snow. You look at the beautiful
jeweled escalators of the snow cascading down and down.
Two Poems With Coffins
Fugitive, connoisseur of thirsts
the whole of being, an intricately ripening sphere,
a silence, exists enfolding you here
at the crossroads of the body
where we are now and put down
the strange weight we have been carrying,
sand dune, broken window, cricket, caress,
empty bottle, apparition, a bone, a voice.
Who was it that wished for this?
And where had we been taking it?
Here is your inheritance,
cerulean blue to cradle you,
breath to take you home.
To be human and go on blushing, applauding,
saying excuse me without understanding
how it started or stopping to ask;
believing somebody else knows,
not wanting to be alone.
Transcendental burlesque blossoming in mirrors, paraphernalia,
rainbows, dolorous sombreros, days.
The same presence everywhere. Look for her, she eludes you.
Not wanting to be the only one
with a little black coffin in your heart;
a little black coffin the size of a thumb
with nothing in it but wind.
For now take this black rock and don't stop polishing it.
A golden cricket lives in it, listen;
a tiny blue loom
To All Mothers
in memory of my mother, Rosemary Louise Cronshey
This human work, look at it :
an unaccountable ripening;
my life bearing me each moment into my life.
The inconsolable pulsation that carries me.
What is that
releasing bliss from bliss and breath from breath?
Basilicas of memory, affection and breath;
immaculate solitudes where the heart is set adrift,
and the heart within the heart, such a sweet and empty weaving.
I don't understand the things that make me live.
Finally, I'm not afraid of my mind,
the crazy dispossessed luciferian energies
ricocheting around inside me don't scare me anymore.
The demonic mariachis, truncated ecstasies, phantom pleasures, baby saints
crowding the stage in the impossible fallen down movie palace of my heart,
I know them pretty well now. Not one of them can destroy me!
Because I know I'm nothing! I'm nothing
but love and suffering, and so what?
I don't believe in anything but loss and tenderness anymore
and that's enough. I will move with its motion now in completeness
and now nothing can hurt me, not even grief!
I could never live an off-the-rack life, like them.
I just want to keep walking up and down this road a while.
Who built this third hand world
over wordless and holy human truth?
Why must we resuscitate this disaster day after day?
This human work.
Look at it!
This labor we must undertake, of living and dying
and taking heart
that gives us our magnificence,
that makes our death an aprilling.
How unlikely, how finally impossible it is
that I managed to get here at all,
exactly nowhere, with everything,
every single conceivable thing
spiraling around inside me
clambering to get out,
sending me out on the street in the middle of the night
to find you;
to tell you what I saw.
Richard Cronshey was born in Los Angeles in 1966. He is the author of Adagio of the Body (1990), Three Similar Instances (1992), Afternoon in The Museum of Late Things (1994) and Mutilated Currency (1997). Cronshey co-edited Bird Full of Rain (1999), a collection of the late Glenn Parker's poetry.
After graduation from the University of Utah, Cronshey traveled and worked in Asia and Eastern Europe for ten years. He now lives with his wife and two children in the US suburbs and works for hospice. Of these poems, Cronshey says:
These most recent poems arose out of the efforts of my mind to come to grips with itself through the discipline of meditation. I've been studying meditation for several years, not very successfully, under the supervision of a teacher. In my best moments poetry is a religious practice for me. It's religious in the sense of growing out of a wish to relink with the ground of being, and then to allow my actions to flow from that root, a form of contemplative prayer. My aspiration is to get to a point where I am living and writing without self consciousness, really selflessly. There is a quality of that in the writing I most love, the presence of primordial intelligence and generosity.