6. Night after night the god sings in the golden jugs of wine in the basement; the soft clicking on the locks of the carboys: one inhalation all summer through the leaves of the vines, and one long, slow exhalation all winter, until that long, low, house-shaking laughter quiets and he sleeps -- only to wake again on the tongue: a sudden rush of time, released; a wind; smelling of lichen and sage and shale: living. The dead are time; we are space. They are the stamens of a flower; we are the petals, white, edged with pink in the spring cold. The dead flicker and flare -- in the houses, the air, the trees -- in all the things of this world. Baudelaire steps out of the bush at Chopaka. A few stars -- snatches of golden music -- sing through the nearly unending, cloud: a world of water. Mallarme is there, sitting under a cottonwood, in the rain, and Bonnefoy, and there is nothing to say, because it is being said: the current burning along the shore; the smell of alkali and willow. It is like that ring Browning tossed in the air, playing with his reader: the reader watched the ring and the glinting Roman sunlight and was unaware that Browning had led him down a road away from the ring; a ring of wax, embedded in sand, then burnt away with molten gold -- poured in -- and lifted out, brushed off: gold: all of it so densely coded, convoluted, that it seems at first there is hardly anyone, alive or dead, who has read it, and read it for pleasure, but there is.
Harold Rhenisch Index
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