26 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #270 : The James Ossuary

The James Ossuary

1
Draw a circle on the blackboard :

Circles are more difficult than you think - they deceive
                    find ways to flatten under your hand :

Make an ouroboros line of salt eating itself :

Lot's wife turns her head to look back at the burning bed of Gomorrah - it is the moment in the movie where the score drops out and the silence hangs there like wool drying in the sun :

If you could step into the chalkboard - into the circle with the flat side you have drawn -
                    you would be standing on a chalkboard in a classroom -
          looking insane -
defying gravity :


2
Chalk is the compressed shell of history :

The ocean's dream of itself :

Darkness bleached of its inky crush :

How does the weightlessness feel in your hand - I remember
               slapping the felt erasers
     against each other

                         until the cloud of dead things welled around me - there
is a feeling of erasing the self a sort of tossing of a smoke bomb - you are Batman
making your escape

     in their blindness
bullets will not find soft places to press :

It was a reward - the erasing :


3
The chalk box had James in it :

And I don't know what that means - he is not here now :

You find a box in a field and it is stained with the brown of dirt and the red of iron and the holes along its surface are oddly beautiful :

Inside the box are the bones :

I dreamt about removing my skeleton again
                    this time we refused to go grocery shopping
          it was Black Friday it was Boxing Day it was the 4th of July -

          we sat in our -
                                   my
                                          - pajamas - we watched episodes of The Simpsons

                     and then I woke up :

4
The box that James was in - sits in front of you - it has been litigated
declared fake - the very idea - !

The issue is that is is historic evidence for Jesus - the inscription :
                    Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua
                    James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus :

It is another scene in a movie where the sound drops out - unless
          it's that kind of movie
                              where heavy strings rise up out of the darkness around us

          telling us that this is now :

This
is now :

5
How goes the circle - the standing against it
          the pausing of physics :

The box is compressed history - your hand
compressing itself - is also a history

You realize that blackboard chalk hasn't been made from chalk for decades - the piece in your hand is made of gypsum -
                                        from the Greek - gypsos
                                        when burnt and rehydrated it can be used as plaster
                    it can build - it is drywall :

The room around you is a box of chalk :


The James Ossuary