Anne Waldman

1945 / New Jersey / United States

Cabin

eviction people arrive to haunt me
with descriptions of summer's wildflowers
how they are carpet of fierce colors

I bet you hate to see us they say and yes
I do hate to have to move again especially from here
destruction brought to place of love

the uneven smiles that win she's a business woman
blond tints that glow at sunset as profits rise
alas what labor I employ

but to ensure a moment's joy
sets branches trembling & arms chilled
dear one long returning home, come to

clammy feverish details, muffed sorrow
I turn to throw a tear of rage in the pot
never remorse but hint of scruples I'd hope for

it is error it is speculation it is real estate
it is the villain and comic slippery words
the work of despotic wills to make money

I scream take it take your money! make your money
go on it's only money, here's a wall of dry rot
here's an unfinished ceiling, just a little sunlight

peeks through this (lark, no luminance! exquisite St. Etienne
stove doesn't work icebox either too hot or frozen
firescreen tumbling down

kitchen insulation droops is ugly & a mess
ah but love it here, only surface appearances
to complain of, nothing does justice

to shape of actual events I love
but a fight against artificiality
its inherent antagonism, bald hatred of moving

and problem of thirsty fig tree in Burroughs
apartment wakes me I don't want to go down there yet
& how to orchestrate the summer properly

the problem of distress & not denying pride from it
too atomized to make pleasure of melancholy
& an uncontrollable enthusiasm for throne & altar

I want to sit high want simple phalanx
of power independent of everything but free will
& one long hymn in praise of the cabin!

it is a confession in me impenetrably walled in
like aesthetics like cosmos an organ of
metaphysics and O this book gives me a headache

dear Weston La Barre let's have an argument
because I see too clearly how rational I must be &
the kernel of my faith corrupted

because you have no reliance on the shaman & outlaw
or how depth of mind might be staggering
everywhere except in how important science is

science? no he won't he fooled by visions
whereas I wait for dazzling UFOs they announce
will arrive high in these mountains

I repair the portal even invite stray horses in
have a little toy receiving station
that sits by the bed

at the edge of night all thoughts to place of love
all worries to this place of love
all gestures to the place of love

all agonies to place of love, thaws to place
of love, swarthy valley sealed
in wood, log burst into flame

in home of love, all heart's dints
and machinations, all bellows & pungency
antemundane thoughts to palace of love

all liberties, singularity, all imaginings
I weep for, Jack's sweet almond-eyed daughter to
place of love, & heavy blankets

and terracing & yard work & patch work
& tenacity & the best in you
surround me work in me to place my love

dear cirques, clear constraint, dissenting
inclinations of a man and a woman, Metonic cycle
all that sweats in rooms, lives in nature

requiems & momentum & trimmings of bushes
dried hibiscus & hawks & shyness
brought to this place of love

trees rooted fear rooted all roots brought
to place of love, mystery to heart of love
& fibers

and fibers in sphere of love a whole world makes
spectators of slow flowering of spring
& summer when you walk to town for eggs

and continuous hammerings as new people
arrive & today we notice for first time
a white-crowned sparrow out by the feeder

with the chickadees & juncos & I missed
that airplane-dinosaur in dream nervous
to travel again, miss buds pop open

to shudder in breeze, their tractability
makes sudden rise of sensibility you are
shuddering too & your boy laugh

comes less frequent now you're drawn into
accountability, will I return to find all
stuff tidy in silver truck

ready to go? it's you in this place I lose
most because it's here in you I forget
where I am, this place for supernaturals

perched high in sky & wind, held by wind in stationary
motion as bluebird we observe over meadow or caught
up with jetstream dipping in valley's soft cradle

power & light & heat & radiance of head it takes
power & light & heat & radiance of head it takes to
make it work while

down there someone building replicas of what
it feels like to be a human multitude, fantasy
molded clumsily, spare my loves

and love of glorious architecture when you really put
outside in, the feeling of cloud or mountain
or stone

having developed an idea of idyllic private life
& sovereignty of spirit over common
empirical demand

I tell you about renunciation, I tell you holy
isolation like a river nears ocean to
dissolve

and cabin becomes someone's idea of a good place
discretion you pay for it wasn't mine either
but sits on me imprints on me

forever splendor of fog, snow shut strangers out
gradual turn of season, ground stir, pine
needle tickle your shoulder, peak curve, fresh air.
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