OAKLAND

Something has a yellow cry; probably it is a blue jay. There are hummingbirds that know nothing about what I am doing, and that is what makes them graceful and great; that is what makes them outside. The discrepancy between what I can remember and what happened should have wings so it can seem light–it is actually a heavy thing, without weight. Yet it should be able to perch in trees and regard me as if I were an ancient eye flickering by an ancient wing.

(Should be: that is one of the little violent maneuvers I do when I am playing this game, the one where I try with language to twist things away from their homely shapes.)

I guess I have been away from Providence for a little over a week. Some of the cells that my body made in Providence have died and some have been replaced by cells that my body made while I drove through Lincoln, Nebraska, where many things are craved and only some are obtained by way of the freeway, by way of the state. I wish I could remember what happened after the craving went away–we got to Colorado? And the sun was setting? The sun did set. And then there was a different quality of breath, the kind that comes from the sides of things that can’t be seen. Things are always panting slightly, things that are beyond the limits of perspective.

Here is another statement that will gradually lose its shape: The entire eastern country is a way of gradually lifting bodies into the Rockies and gently placing them in the apartments of warm friends who are never weary because they live at the top of the great effort everyone else has to make to get there, to be welcomed in.

“The university” has loomed lately. It even, horribly, looms among trees. That means it also looms in shadows and breezes and the shiftings of leaves. How has it infiltrated the qualities of things? I have to keep it from getting into everything; I don’t want a bowl of cereal to become affixed, as if the bowl of cereal were cancerous, to anything that looms horribly. For instance, “the university” is also a monster that doesn’t eat, it feeds. (I am looking for a job. But I wish only to teach about the limits of perspective and the pantings that happen beyond them.)

In Nevada I saw distance dissolve into the sand of the surroundings as we got close to it–this is my statement of intent.

In Chicago I met a man who is searching for reality; in Denver I met a man who is searching for a different reality. Is the feeling of finding what’s real the same for the man in Chicago as it is for the man in Denver? I have a feeling that the answer to this question is dead.

In Oakland I have seen figs, pomegranates, persimmons, limes, and tangerines growing on trees. There are so many plants that look like what space excretes into visibility–aliens. I was reading about Robert Irwin the first morning we were here in the house where we’re staying in Piedmont–he says something like, Language is a materialization of thinking–and then we left and looked at plants and I thought about their shapes and patterns as another materialization of thinking. The thinking that produces their patterns has different qualities than the thinking that produces language…in the desert I think I saw the kind of light that convinced Robert Irwin to give up painting. It is light made of glints — but only the glints Americans see when they think “manufacturing” and “57 Chevy”.

I should talk about other glints, like how there’s a glint that happens when I think, “I am not searching for anything,” and also, “I am searching for…” and then I think of a word, and the word seems like the right word.

Sometimes I think I’m searching for the source of metaphor, this bright space where each part relates intimately to itself, and in relating that way to itself, each part relates to all the other parts, and there is no history, no memory of having been anything else.

But maybe this bright space I am thinking of, it is actually only a tennis court, or a shovel in a word problem about fitting through tight spaces.

I have not said anything about New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, or Utah, all of which had to be passed through in order to arrive at the current state of uncertainty and despair, which is a little improved over the state of uncertainty and despair fed by Providence’s air, which is heavy/nightmare.

But there is something very sweet that happened–in Providence once I woke up in a place where I dreamed of waking, and in the dream I felt the same relief I felt when I actually woke in the place where I dreamed of waking, and I had a feeling, something like, It is very good now, everything is complete. The feeling of being done with searching.

Now I have mentioned all the states. Utah was very pretty, with deep purple recesses in which horses grazed and cows grazed and every living thing probably sang in a cowboy way about being free and lonely, and released tendrils of sage-smoke. In Nebraska I drove very fast because I wanted to get to the other side of a feeling about myself; in Nevada, briefly, I was there on the other side of myself after a lot of coffee. Delaware I don’t remember; New Jersey wasn’t real; Ohio probably happened. I do remember Pennsylvania, and that’s comforting.

Is it foolish to go on saying I am searching for something when I know that I am not searching for a thing? Still, sometimes I find I am leaning toward something that has just been here, but isn’t here anymore–leaning toward anymore and the air that comes after a storm.

More soon!