Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Song of My Collective Self

by Séamas Carraher

With my self who he knows not,
me! most mother of a storm,
(under stones and hard ground
and relative to the dead).
All this tearing and grinding
that claws in your softness
for these dictators and time,
all christens in my birthing
with airraids and allies; and
no rest in these exploding bones,
this city of the self
like a mask shapeless in carbombs.

My brain here beats its heart
into shreds.

i exclude in
my circumference
both beast and child
with no legs to multiply in crippling
our illegible history.
(This scholar sinking in speeches
and disowns with books this burning child!)
And all
the swallowing lights of a town
long ago
gone out, and out
(O all my cheapness in mealtimes and sex,)
that not in my nothing-birth, this i! and
all my collective selves
of air and dust and debris
and all our simple journeys
to the stomach,
my groaning workman and my love
all ghettoed between these empty faces.

O you're shy,
with touching time, with body
and all this whispering spirit.

Then save me, too late, in my softness,
who punctuates my freedom in noughts,
and who, now, i celebrate in collisions,
in grief, and shells and echo.
As if in both battlehour and conversation
we have not lost all greater part.

This coming in our waves,
like a people unfit into being.
Here are the dead still singing.
Our dead, like a scattering,
buried deep in their difference,
Here is life in an endless loudness.
Here's a self that sings in its travelling
all blessing in our being, a miracle!
still bending in the rain.

But then this pitiful face.
Him pleading in our unravelling
that both our hunger erects in its barricades
his spirit bursting into storms
in all this cold fathering weather,
to call me a home and hands, and all,
now estimated, my poverty,
in this savage way
of war, and debt and dying.

It is better, love, in this downward time,
it is better,
and our hollowness of heart,
to own nothing.

Comrade, it is better,
that all the world,
this mighty with their machines,
(their grinding and tearing in
my simple selves)
be born another time in coming.

On this day in hours,
my self unlocks the sun,
her softness sprinkles in its showers of skin
and all these lights unwind
in their wandering dead.

We ache this much, forward!
our future convulses in reverse
and in this working weather
like a tree encircles my armless self,
that at the closing of that time, surprised,
this we and me, all stillness still,
at life, and O, (despite all)
our endless

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