2 Poems by Paul Nelson

94. Dilettante Periphery

Nothing is repeated: it just looks similar.
- Ramon Gomez de la Serna

& here at The Lake (Graves built) sunslip past
cedartops that side tiny lichen-festooned islands &
w/ yr head a certain angle here are “instruments for a
new navigation.” Monet sd a finished work of art an
“unreasonable pretension” & this unfinished work’s
Cascadia’s Giverny more a monument to solitude
(practice of inside) & grove of Grandfather trees date
from the late T’ang era. No. Tourists. Ever.

“The dilettante periphery has so little to do
but keep these things stirred up for their titillation” /
won’t get the red meat of fotos nor see what light left
on this Sunday of the thinnest veil becomes another
tiny lichen-festoon’d island. (Iris island.)

Redwood canopy sways
backlit by Cascadia
azul - above Graves’

Nothing looks similar as this yearning for an
auspicious wind / yearndeep to abide Securely
Beyond Obstruction
, a sober puer-fueled invite to the
all pervading light lit by horsetails & sword ferns,
ceanothus & Italian marble, a soft path up & elevate
the heart rate. “Here is the heart of this bulletin”

Clover grows in needles
dropped by Redwood trees on
the path to bench three.

& lie there looking up sure NOT to squish a banana
slug & cd die there if required - give the dilettante
periphery sumtin’ to put in their pipe when they cd
be re-sounding their own lost twin’s broken

Homebuilding as
enlightenment practice
while citizens “tweet
& sleep through the wars.”

6p - 11.3.13
The Lake
Loleta, CA

1) Morris Graves
2) Claude Monet
3) Guy Anderson to Morris Graves in a 1957 letter
4) Morris Graves in a 1958 letter
5) Brenda Hillman

Angels of Waldport

...there these men met and each
stoutly refused to cease pursuing his respec-
tive Muse... It has taken us a year to arrive
at this first publication...

The creation of this work and the production
of the magazine have been a spare time en-

The importance of art during these war times
becomes emphasized as an attempt to see be-
yond the immediate blind focusing of the
life and time of human beings to the aims of
the state. This work has helped the men in-
volved to see something beyond. May it carry
to their readers.

the Illiterati
Spring 1943

The indestructible will rising through sloth.
-William Everson

There were always
& will be always
men acting

not as boys
but men

not as boys involved in the play
of games not of men, not as boys who
get their roles assigned by

John Wayne, Rambo, Arnold Swarzenegger
Sudden Impact, Kill Bill, Mad Max, The Raid,
The Killer, Die Hard, the Dark Knight, Blade

bloodporn for boys
who must get their direction
from razor blade ads
jiwas so neglected
the inside life
w/ bloodporn & sports.

There are men beyond this field of boys
grown old. Arrested
in adolescence.

Some men said no to the boys game named
World War II. They’d seen the previews
gave it two thumbs down, wd hunker down north
of Yachats, south of Waldport, wd each pursue his
respective capitol M Muse

& write elegies for war, for the wars, for the war
ended all wars & the wars after that.
For the nuclear wars and
future defoliant wars, for each war in
every form, war against women
war against men
who’d not fight war, war
against Gaia, children
the biosphere,
the poor,
the brown-skinned,
the Other.

Here at Camp Angell, CPS#56
they’d find like-minded men
and hunker
War Elegies
& homages to
The Horned Moon.

“And seek in myself the measure of peace
I know is not there.”

They would mimic the “north-hungry geese”
the “long way home”
beat hippies to long hair
by a score or more.

Find art as “a device for finding life perspective, a lens
that brings into focus the human consciousness” an act
beyond the capability of a boy, art as “crystallizing principle
for determining which objects and situations
are worth being concerned about..”

To not “follow any consistent
trend of development”
but what the mind may make
following the sound of a mind made
non-local in heterotroph
let reason rule
beyond all razor blade

to vow with all that’s sacred
a vow “not to wantonly ever take life...
save from the pressure that is my need.”

There are still men like...
there are always men who
gather this way who
hunker down and resist
on one hand war
scholarship, resist
to act not out of “strength” that’s only weakness
seeking a violent conclusion.

There are men always who use geese
as models, or red-winged blackbirds, coots,
or mergansers, buffleheads or herons.

There are men always
and from a long distance
who see men who are not men
but boys always being boys, incapable
(it seems) of being anything
but boys who can’t stand

still enough to learn “the secrets that
dissolve the night.”

For is it in night’s dissolution
all the answers
haunting the halls of every would-be man’s
dreamlife. Missing this

is suffering.

1:09pm - 1.18.2019
Watzek Library


“And seek in...”, “north-hungry geese”, “long way home” and “not to
wantonly ever take life... save from the pressure that is my need

From William Everson, War Elegies

a device for finding life perspective, a lens that brings into focus the
human consciousness”, “crystallizing principle for determining which
objects and situations are worth being concerned about..

and “follow any
consistent trend of development”

From Glen Coffield, The Horned Moon

Poet & interviewer Paul E Nelson founded SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Since 1993, SPLAB has produced hundreds of poetry events & 600 hours of interview programming with legendary poets & whole systems activists including Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, & many others. Paul’s books include American Prophets (interviews 1994-2012) (2018) American Sentences (2015) A Time Before Slaughter (2009) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (2013). He’s presented poetry/poetics in London, Brussels, Nanaimo, Qinghai & Beijing, China, has had work translated into Spanish, Chinese & Portuguese & writes an American Sentence every day. Awarded a residency at The Lake, from the Morris Graves Foundation in Loleta, CA, he’s published work in Golden Handcuffs Review, Zen Monster, Hambone, and elsewhere. Winner of the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from The Capilano Review, he is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s Cedar River watershed.

Ryan De LeonComment