Eric GamalindaUSAWriting2007

I wanted to finish a collection of poems dealing with consciousness and time, which I tried to imagine through the perspective of Buddhism and quantum physics. Eternal consciousness (one that survives the disintegration of the I) and
infinite time (which can only happen outside of our existence) are virtually impossible for the human mind to comprehend. Yet they are, I suspect, at the core of our searching and our loneliness. In Umbria, layers of time seemed to me to co-exist so effortlessly; I felt I was steeped in the presence of parallel worlds, of the enormity of before and after, and every day I experienced that sense of astonishment so vital to poetry. One morning I woke up and Castrabecco was swathed in a bluish fog. The valley off the gazebo, the garden of pomegranates and jasmine, had disappeared. I kept watching until the fog began to lift, until
the tips of the cypresses began to pierce through the haze. And then everything was once again as it had been; and then nothing was ever again the same.


A skim of moonlight on these hills: a self-effacing moon.
Overnight, the roads have lost their way.
I must have turned invisible myself: in the rearview mirror
my image is a pixel, a small gray speck.
It looks nothing like me.
Iridescent in disguise, lizards emulate the solitude of stones.
I’ve come back again and again to the sanctuary of wells,
but there is nothing there still;
the water will not reveal its sources.
No one speaks to the swallows.
Rain for a day, an afternoon, a dewdrop’s lifespan.
I will walk into the sunlight, if it ever comes, and disappear.
Perhaps my shadow, like my soul, will never recognize me.
It will wander aimlessly, buoyant, lifted by longing,
which is more than I have ever aimed to be.
Last night: a dream. And then a dream of a dream:
I have never learned to live inside this body.
I carry it like an instrument whose usefulness
has become arcane to me. I am tired of God,
tired of counting the cycles, the exactitude of stars.
There must be a constellation of nothing
where all things begin. A zero, motionless,
far from the spindrift of time.
I don’t expect to gain anything from these words;
I don’t think the rain, despite my praise, thinks itself dear.
Once again, my sorrow leads me where it will.
I am a target, a vector, a pair of wings.
Something massive is breathing: that’s what the thunder tells me.
I listen closely, like a hunter of songs.
I hope never to return.