178.1: Aditi Machado:: If Thought Is Life & Blessed Is & The God Word 178

"If I am alive" Aditi Machado begins. "If I am thinking / nothing has stopped". In this selection of three poems, Machado burrows into the paired binary of thinking and feeling. On the one hand, cogito ergo sum. On the other hand, "I feel that I am happening / in a sleeve." To perform this investigation, Machado turns inward, and the space that the turning creates and navigates is sacred. With echoes of Blake, Machado moves toward the void of the god word she finds within: the word that cannot be spoken, the word that cannot speak, the word that cannot help itself but to create ripples of language that emanate from it: "Which is to say if the god word was denied to speaking, it was not / to thinking or feeling or tapestry." Because, of course, there is no difference between thinking and feeling. Both are functions that occur in and are processed by the brain. Their wedding is inevitable, and so "[b]lessed is the heart. / Blessed is my gethsemane // of florid logic." Andrew Wessels

If Thought is Life


If I am alive

If I am thinking
nothing has stopped

in the way of wheels
I cannot leave

If where I was born
was a basin

Where was it
I was thinking

If I breathe
If the wind

If resilient
the basin

is cold
and thinking

tensile

If thought is life
and the want

of thought is death
the incendiary dress

                  (Note: Some language is taken from William Blake’s “The Fly.”)



Blessed Is


a day, avid
centuries.

A time when when
bestowed locus.

I look about the place
as it dislocates

for the venereal heart.
Here

is the symposium
and time is ludic.

I feel that I am happening
in a sleeve.

     *

Locusts are swarming.
Lust is. Here is

a valence we were
paragraphing in the sun.

My friends and I, unhappy
with anything pitched

higher than darkness,
discouraged beatitudes.

     *

What is more dangerous—
perfection in the body or
perfection in the mind? I saw the sea shell

everywhere making a unit of life,
the unsprung sound
of a thing unseen.

     *

There is a place in my heart.
There is a heart.
There is my academy

searching the hinging
preposition.

     *

I configured myself one day by not
entering the pool. No contentment
overflowed.

     *

To fill my life as an index,
to feel crying as by onion—

there is an astringent for everything.

It is lexical.

     *

Blessed is the heart.
Blessed is my gethsemane

of florid logic. I am lucid
in the afternoon.

Graceful living—benevolence,
pure bawd.



The God Word


It was told never. Never had a certain
            sound like iron or beating.

Never use the tongue for any purpose other than speaking.

Hunger is a reason to speak and starvation
            a natural prism.

                        *

Let us say it was trying to be kind. Let us say blasphemy is a form of cruelty.

Let us say blasphemy.

                        *

The mother taught it the god word, created a system of pointing
            beginning with the god word to all things and back
            to it. This was a kindness,

which had the sound of iron or beating. The sound of a foundry
            and the smell of hot things touching the temperature of rooms.

                        *

Let us say the god word is an idol, abstract, for the menial concept
            that is childhood.

                        *

When it grew up, for it had a tendency to extend itself
            across time like an insect leaping across

great canyoning swatches of space, it knew the god word to be
            not merely an idol, abstract, but idols, abstract, plural,
            for the superior concepts of mother and history
            and nostalgia, those that collapse into a finery

known as the past.

                        *

When it grew up, the god word was rhetoric.

When it grew up, the god word bore stamps, concrete, plural,
            like a thing delivered to every square on a sphere
            of mud and water and rejected.

When it grew up, in short, the god word was golden.

                        *

Let us say the god word comprises the inner ear.

Let us say the god word aloud for full effect.

                        *

It was told never. Never speak
            the god word.

Never deny the god word. But
            it did not believe

the moment or the condition or the geometry
            to which the god word pointed.

Yet the god word existed.

How to eliminate the god word.

                        *

Let us say it was given by its mother. Its father did not take it away.

Let us say it fell when the system of pointing collapsed
            as from a lack of grammar proceeds madness.

It fell like a seed, singular, golden, and would not grow.

                        *

Let us say the god word is a property as of magnets. Which is to say
            the god word is a type of physics, abstract and menial,
            creating shapes, though not physical, and with less certain
            intention, but in an essential sort of way, which in denying
            certain things vivifies certain others.

Which is to say if the god word was denied to speaking, it was not
            to thinking or feeling or tapestry.

                        *

In the end, it was told never. Never use the tongue
            for any purpose other than speaking. Hunger is a reason
            and starvation the natural prism.

Soon, it was allowed eating. Soon, allowed drinking, soon,
            dark liquids.

And if a thing could evoke a sense of not requiring atmosphere,
            inside, it was allowed.

And always it denied the permissions by exceeding them, saying god,
            o god, o my god, writing letters, dear god, sincerely, it.