Round the pools are trees and water The globe is full trying to be what everything is made of
This is the second stanza of “Waking Up,” from Reed Bye's new book Morning Rites. I wake up, I am attentive to these beautiful clear lines. “Round the pools,” which sounds like an objective description (rendered via the Eliotic syntax of “Dry the pool,” from Burnt Norton) becomes mentally rendered as around. I hear it this way: Around the pools are trees. And yet “round the pools” must be kept, because everything here is evocative of roundness. “The globe is full // trying to be what everything is made of.” The globe, this round world, is trying to be what it already is … inside our own spherical eyes. This is so very Creeley-like to me in the at-once-ness of its verbal humility and wonder. Here is Creeley from Song: “No doubt on day it will // still all come true as people // do flock to it still.” It will all come true as people. It will all come true in our eyes. And for Reed Bye, we will see the world dilated, our eyes full of “pools of fire.” “Waking Up” ends with these incandescent pools of fire. So the natural sense of “round the pools are trees” becomes something akin to the visionary.
I think the way Reed Bye is able to pull this off is that he lets the round world come into the round eye on its own terms. There is no imposition, no going out there, so to speak, because whatever we are is already “round the pools.” There is no subterfuge, no guile. Deep clarity is found – by a rare wonder – in pure utterance.
Let's leave the thoughts that think they know and don't do anything but flood the ground with stale words and re-join arteries fed from celestial wells
The humble voice becomes mystical because it never left off being humble. The natural becomes supernatural because it never left off being natural. There doesn't seem to be a paradigm shift, but only a deepening of attention. This attention, or concentration, cannot be singularly pinned down. I hear different voices.
Now you see yourself, sort of, before and after Something like this could be the book in which we live its ink is almost dry – Too early for a news release but some point of reference, please, since the rest ran away with the facts
Here the humble voice is married to an Ashberian sensibility. I hear this in lines like “Too early for a news release,” and “some point of reference, please.” Where are we as poets? The ink of the great written world is almost dry. It has all been concretized into “thoughts that think they know.” The facts sift out of the poem. But did we really need them? What, in the poem as in our lives, goes on?
When turning on this faucet you'll find others pouring out. Everything rises and then crosswinds get to work. It's not apparent as a twister anymore I've got the parking break on
Certain patterns run below ice-line Seams appear and its amazing how fashion slips away when something big as the sun comes on
(from “Glimpse: A Sonnet”)
What is this “something” that is as “big as the sun?” Might it not be consciousness itself that goes beyond our current range of factual access. “Stale words” and “thoughts that think they know” slip away when this sun comes on. Fashion is perhaps contiguous to this false – or pretend – knowing. Fashion's quick parlance becomes stale before we know it. What lasts seems to be attention curving through its discoveries. Pliant vision does not simply come upon things, but becomes those things it comes upon. Even more, poetic vision sees that it was always already there. “When turning on this faucet you'll find others / pouring out.” These poems are spouts, spring-sources from many “celestial wells,” many mornings that are one morning. Waters (like words) are always interconnected. All lights are light.