When Worried Kneel Pray Toward Any Articulator of Time:
to the sun
& to the moon
& to the tides
& to the rains
& to the opening
& closing of lilies
& to the clock
& to the sand
& to the stenciled stone worn dark again
& to the winter
& to the watch
& to the summer
& to the channel rising
& to the cycle/sickle swing,
I shall be here when I get here again.
In those days in the afternoons I had been taking 3 Fingers of Brandy Into the Study to stretch my eyes & sit & stare at maps of Prussia & Byzantium, Uq’bar, Israel & Babylon & at around sunset, stepping out for a long & lingering cherrywood pipe, god knows what my head got up to in those spaces. I could remember nothing of my day so far, nor a solitary feature of a map. I ended my days uncertain I had even been awake or seen a single roll of paper. I ended my days certain of the cherrywood in my jacket collar & of trying off to sleep. I began my days with a ceiling & a deep red drape heating up half-drawn in the window by a sunflower fence. What a tall & tickled sky there was to lose & to ignore in all my waking & sleeping! There were burns scarred into my palms & right arm, that side of my rib cage & whole lower back, a portion of my thy & my heal. Someone in my family, in my infancy I have to guess, in some time out of memory, had hurled me toward the sun in my cooing in my sleep & I had very nearly died.
These texts originally appeared in Alan Mudd's Red King, Book the Second (The Lune, 2016)
“Quoniam de ciuitatis utriusque, terrenae scilicet et caelestis, debitis finibus deinceps mihi uideo disputandum: prius exponenda sunt, quantum operis huius terminandi ratio patitur, argumenta mortalium, quibus sibi ipsi beatitudinem facere in huius uitae infelicitate moliti sunt, ut ab eorum rebus uanis spes nostra quid differat, quam Deus nobis dedit, et res ipsa, hoc est uera beatitudo, quam dabit, non tantum auctoritate diuina, sed adhibita etiam ratione, qualem propter infideles possumus adhibere, clarescat. De finibus enim bonorum et malorum multa et multipliciter inter se philosophi disputarunt; quam quaestionem maxima intentione uersantes inuenire conati sunt, qui efficiat hominem beatum."
AUGUSTINI DE CIVITATE DEI LIBER XIX