Hidden Tomb

From firmness on a million holds, perserverance on a million goals, to doubt. From knowledge of every proficiency, comprehension of every theory, to nothing, death. Now, unless I look at a thing for so long a time, I can’t tell what it’s about. Now, unless I carefully scrutinize a thing, I can’t figure it out. A long war is lost. The birth of a contentious revolutionary spirit ended in death. Now, there is none of it left. Nobility’s in rags. Now, burned flags fill the tomb of a burned out conscience. All of what I had is lost. I used to have something that used to make my mind work, the eyes,—what else I don’t remember. That something I used to have was the breath that brought the world alive. That same force, which kept the war alive and helped me see a million things that I can never see now, is dead. That same pressure is dead. Now, an interment, a hold in the ground, never being found (a trap, a prison, a reticent cage) concealing all but the silent noise, the invisible vision, the unfelt unction, holds a hope surviving without the lost potency, holds an enduring destitution without the lost direction, holds me. I need that force to move the world closer, to make it clear. I can’t see if it’s not near. Make the compulsion alive. I’ve got nothing with which to try. I’ve got nothing with which to cry. I’m helpless as in a womb, and no one else can see the tomb. I’m hiding it.

March 1970