Iiná Joe

In my time of dying, want nobody to mourn. All I want for you to do is take my body home. Well, well, well, so I can die easy.” – Led Zeppelin

“Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall).” – Gerard McMahon

“This one goes out to Iiná Joe”, I say as I release the cued needle to play its art. “My Navajo little sister lost a lot today”, I say letting my voice override the magic of the first chords of finality. “From “Physical Graffiti”, I say, “Led Zeppelin, “In My Time of Dying“, I say. “Cry little sister”, I say.

Iiná Joe comes around, just as the August, sun has lost its crown, and it sets itself in message, in an altered degree, sending signs of mourning for all to see. And it spills out red across the sky, sending farewell tears to a million sighs. “That’s what makes me cry”, Iiná says to me, standing just my height, dressed in the color of her grief. It is a visit of timing it is a look without a word. As if in the world of symbols, we are the witness to the earth. Iiná Joe says, “I heard it, the song you said you’d play”. I say, “You mean “In My Time of Dying“, is that the meaning you wanted relayed”. She nods her head in the affirmative, and then we both look away, just a disc jockey and newly minted widow at the end of a funeral day. Standing in the foyer at KWYK, all the world is moving with us as actors on its stage.

Iiná Joe says, “The darkness falls upon us as it fell upon my man, as he drank his way from Gallup, into the desert and the sand.” “When they found him out near Sanostee with the cuts upon his face, he’d been sitting in his pickup truck for forty nights and forty days.” It grew very quiet between us as we thought about her words, the quiet that conveys meaning from our words to other worlds. Like the transmitters nearby us, cooling from their five thousand-wattage heat. We wandered through Iiná’s pain filled loss, looking for comfort to keep. And as a boy of seventeen with all my wishes draught unpaid. I was humbled by my friend’s sharing of the greatness of her loss, and the grieve it built and made.

Iiná Joe walks around, the darkened radio studio looking at me, with her eyes filled with amber tears, a reflection of a man she no longer see’s. “Will you play the song again”, she asks. “I think I’ll wait outside, the night is coming quickly, and the chindi is nearby.” “I would not have my man’s blackness upon you, as you do for me what’s kind.”

“This one goes out to Iiná Joe”, I say as I release the cued needle to play its art. “My Navajo big little sister lost a lot today”, I say letting my voice override the magic of the first chords of finality. “From “Physical Graffiti”, I say, “Led Zeppelin, “In My Time of Dying“, I say. “Cry little sister”, I say.

Iiná Joe went her way a few days ago. She passed into the darkness after the August sun had gone down, forty-one years to the day; she visited a seventeen-year-old disc jockey to make a special request. That seventeen-year-old disc jockey pictured above thanks her for the honor, those many years ago and wishes her G_D speed ahead. There is no more to cry for little sister. – 09.03.2019 – דָּנִיֵּאל

 

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Cellar Door


Cellar door, are you open to find me, Iron ore shields remorse.
When I look, I look to your beautiful name. – Skylar Grey

Said by my Pappy,

“Be you curious without expectation, be you thrilled to be alive, explore the thin veil of the spirit, not the dry bones where they have died. Take your many steps through a tunnel, to see the other side. Know that every dark dream has an ending that ends in the sweet by and by.”

Said by my Pappy,

“Be you not afraid of cellar doors, or what the traits they hide. Many a good man has found that door protection from the tornadoes outside. Be you not of single mindedness of any issue in your life; remember every problem known to us has always had two sides. Be you not for revolutionaries, the one who rebels against the tide. Know that every rebel of the soul is a tyrant who rules his heart with pride.”

Said by my Pappy,

As he led me through a dreamscape world, my fever roaring inside. His large hands moving as he walked down the concrete steps to a cellar door with words inscribed. How I wished I could move closer, how I wished for better light, but alas this dream led mystery, without a clue or special rite. I knew right then that every virus; every blight I knew inside could stand to show me something, even in my darkest night.

Said by my Pappy,

“Be you quicker than your adversary, that devil that comes in light; know that he is part of a commandment to judge you when the day is night. Be you an ever witness to the shadows, the tricks of light, know that Mephistopheles is your left fists action while the good Lord form’s your right. In truth, there are many questions that go beyond this door. Do your best to obtain no answers until you know what the questions are for.”

Said by my Pappy,

As he turned and bent a little bit, his overalls so blue and wide, I thought him but dead just a while ago, but here he seems so much alive. In a dream that held too much fever, at least I could see inside, but still I could not read the inscription on the cellar door, standing before my pappy’s side.

I was nineteen, when I first dreamed of Pappy and the cellar door. Through the years, I have had the same dream many times. The symbols, philosophy and spiritual mysticism and eschatological character of the dream, have never been meaningful to me. To know what is beyond the iron ore door is not necessary to me. However, there is an ever-burning desire to know what is inscribed upon that cellar door. – 06.07.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

 

The Ghost in the Cathedral


“Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One.”

A dream on April 15th………

“It is well” my dad whispers as he sketches the Cathedral, the details designed from the nape to the great stone that shelters the moving shadows in the Roman portico. “Are there ghost here”, I whisper, thinking the answer I might receive might not be kind. “They are here” he whispers back, continuing to manipulate the pencil on his long white draught tablet, his face the color of angels, that of peace, that moves rough rivers to find a better course. My dad, the dad I know no more, a spirit, a moving light in darkness, moves his right hand with flourish finishing the left arch that covers the holy of holies.

“I will put daemons on the outside of this sanctuary,” he says, his now inhuman glowing blue eyes giving the appearance of a shelter, he was unable to offer while yet he was breathing. “Why”, I ask, the question knowing the answer to come. Still, the inquiry helps me hear my own voice. It sounds passive, and echoing, as if in a great hall. “They help us to know possibilities”, my dad mutters, turning drawing rapidly something that stands still, noticeable only to his eyes. His immortal eyes.

“It is well”, my dad whispers, baring the image of something alien upon his arms. They are moving images of creatures, alien beast that move to guard a sanctuary. Perhaps it is they guard a throne, a host, or a plan sketched of what is to come. “What of the ghost” I ask the spirit that speaks as my father. “They are here”, my dad laughs suddenly, as his eyes turn a cobalt cold, color of ethereal energy that moves between worlds.

He draws them then, with quickness, a suddenness that interrupts the troubled thoughts I have. They sit in silence, in quiet death, their bodies in sanctuary, their souls’ deep wells, not troubled by belief or ideology. “They rest”, my dad says, his voice moving to other places. Perhaps mysterious places where bleeding stops. Perchance that place “John Lennon” imagined, with no religion too.

“I would go there, also” I whisper to my dad, this dad who roughs great divine basilicas. “I would climb past these ghosts, I would Passover“, I say, as the night moves in and out of that consciousness that is my soul. “I cannot make it so”, my dad smiles, the same unavailability suddenly present within him, as it was in life. He moves then his pencil moving furiously over the pad he carries with him, and I understand. I know without worry, and I am concerned no more. My life passes beyond cathedrals, celestial and even divinity. It spins so often out of control. Nevertheless, they are there, ghost sketched in great cathedrals, daemons of awe sculpted by my dad’s awl, that help me know deep possibilities. Thoughts that are not bound to past or future. Still it is well, oh Hashem it is well with my soul.

“It is well”, my dad whispers.

For Notre Dame That still smolders this night.
– 04.18.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

While Playing Hooky


“How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” – Ferris Bueller

“We’re off to the witch, we may never never, never come home,
but the magic that we’ll feel is worth a lifetime” – Ronnie James Dio

Look down with me upon this day, across the high desert to a certain place. To an old trailer tanker resting deplete. Its only cargo, on the floor of this rusting keep. Look closely, so closely at a picture of two boys, a picture left in this place, as if by choice. Two faces from history, that time will repeat. Even now comes knocking, the last who will see.

Two heads we see, headed west, down a sunbaked path; one with brown hair, the other a black mess. The sun falls fast on this single day of spring, shooting down through the heavens, bringing something on its wings. It would appear the burdens carried from a year of math and art. Now are loose without a feeling. For these boys walk without an arc. Why there shoes made by converse, leave hardly a trace. As they carry sacks of lunch and knowledge to the place of secret things. “School is not made for the living”, one boy cries unto the air, and they both laugh without smiling for the truth is there somewhere. For a moment, let us watch them still frozen in time. In their purity shimmering, moving onward in this rhyme.

Let us look at the picture that is painted from above. A numbered highway in the background, beyond it scrubland wild with yucca, dryland arroyos, lie open, writhing with their scars. Down the path that leads us westward lies a rusted oil tanker and two old cars. It is a graveyard of a shadow of another place tomorrow. For it is tomorrow where they go, a bit of yesterday, and as the clouds flow from the east, they turn their backs, and begin to walk to stray. Indeed, we see them avoid a snake his triangle head of spotted gray. “No matter it all”, one boy he brays, the other sings out, “we missed our school today”. A matter of steps a slight incline, the scrubland rolls out, and dips and divides. At last we watch the two boys much slower, reach the rusted oil tanker, the place they know they will soon grow much older.

For here, it is we cannot grow nearer, the picture shimmers, dances, and glimmers. A place were two boys search for cracks in what is sutured. Finding doors that open, on order, past and future. Ruins discovered in place. Veils ripped from openings, alien voices calling out from deep to deep. It is the discovery of the last of days. It is here they come to play. If we could venture a thought of what they find, inside compartments of an old oil tanker way past its prime. Could they go where one has not been, could they find the way past when? Is there blackness beyond the divide, or have they found the path to the divine.

“That picture looks like us”, one boy says, a film of cool perspiration resting upon his brow. The thick darkness inside the front compartment of the tanker surrounds the thin beam of the flashlight. It gives the feeling of a tomb. “It could be us”, the other boy says softly.” His voice carries a soft echo through the oval opening into the next compartment. It is there; we look and see a sudden wind created. We watch as it lifts itself backwards through another opening, and then upwards through the open hatch, as if with a sudden relief.

Look down with me upon this day, across the high desert to a certain place. To an old trailer tanker resting deplete. Its only cargo, on the floor of this rusting keep. Look closely, so closely at a picture of two boys, a picture left this place, as if by choice. Two faces from history, that time will repeat. Even now comes knocking, the last who will see.

For my eighth grade English teacher Mrs. Howey, who charged me to read the classics fearlessly, and to write as if I were mad. I will forever carry the guilt of disappointing her by playing hooky on the final day of school in the spring of 1974. In her aggrieved state, I have always hoped to share with Mrs. Howey that I was indeed engaged in research for how to do both of the charges thus listed above. – 03.22.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

 

 

Occultavia (1988)


“Because no retreat from the world can mask what is in your face.” – Gregory Maguire

“What is strange, when the strangest things are born from G_D.” – DS

I thought for a moment that it could be the late hour, the tricks of the night on the eye, the curves of the highway. I thought too much on it at first, and then I thought not on it at all, as the hillside parted, and that which was movement moved.

The space around her appeared barren, the frozen fog closing gaps around her lithe figure, changing not it’s form, yet somehow it changed. That she was the first witch, that I knew, and although there is reason that I should have known it not, yet in that late hour it became a part of me, something in reflection, I would rather it be not.

The years since then, that is something most would address, those many years since I saw, that cold dark spirit. She there in the wood. Still, so still near the highway. She in shadow, not a tale. Not a figment of thought to frighten young children on eves of reckoning. Rather she a witch, a true shadow in the leaves on that winter night. Standing with arms unfolded, inviting. Her song in alien syllables not of this world, but of that which we do not see until we die. But yes, it is the years since then I now address, and I do so carefully, for I think I have seen her once again in the corners of my dreams, and in that I think there is something I should see not.

I could describe that night, in detail, the Ozark mountain highway, the very monochrome world that I drove through. The cold, the moment KFAQ out of Tulsa, went silent, that bend in the road. That place where giants were born from falling angels, after the flood, after Ha Adam. The sifting of red clay and rich dark sediment, where the flood began, and ended. I could tell you all. Still, all would not describe her, standing there at 3:04 A.M. The first witch in darkness. The first witch I have ever seen.

It is written for I cannot say it aloud, that, my darkest thoughts contain G_D. It is in those thoughts that I am judged, for as my name beholds, G_D is my judge. Also, in my thoughts, those darkest thoughts, stands a witch, the first witch. She too implores and judges, and often, as my life moves, I do as I should not, and I look if only briefly into my mirror.

She runs, with her billowing swaths of black cloth moving all around her, she follows chasing, frost and cold about her. and her face I pray, oh her face I pray, I never ever see. – 02.25.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

Zuzan (Banrigh nan Witches)


“I myself have seen this woman draw the stars from the sky; she diverts the course of a fast-flowing river with her incantations; her voice makes the earth gape, it lures the spirits from the tombs, send the bones tumbling from the dying pyre. At her behest, the sad clouds scatter; at her behest, snow falls from a summer’s sky.” – Tibullus

In the act of prelude…

They burn her in the evening near the loch, an inward sea, hairless pilgrims from the Romans, who cannot abide what they cannot see. For they know not love of difference, nor the signs of transformation, so they burn her near the sunset, to set their superstitions free. Maple red it lights the skyway, like her skin in faire degrees, with the screams of a thousand angels as above and below deceived. For she is the heir of hierarchy, the share of all unseen. The voices of her sirens cry come forth thou, my craft it is aggrieved.

First act of the evening…

First I saw her in Lucy’s garden on a snowy Solstice Eve, with the air filled full of wonder, lights around her face and feet. She made me think of some wickedness the kind that is so grand, where you watch the pleasure of a lady, delivered by a softened hand. It seemed she did not notice me, where I was or what I am and it led me to a reason, that I was dreaming or a familiar, from an ancient tribe or clan. In the garden there were statues both alive and some were dead, and not alone some were speaking, and from those her mind seemed fed. And, she laughed in grand gaiety, and smiled her lips so bloody red, and she brought forth life from a cold stone woman, with a kiss upon her hand. Above the snow had stopped falling and shown bright north stars in those snowflakes stead. Not a sound from this garden except the laughter from her mouth, forming spells in passion noises, eagerness building all about.

I saw her look back shyly, her hand it waved my way, the brown ringlets from her brown hair fine, glistened as she swayed. Come with me sweet surveyor within my mind a voice. She led me to a crypt nearby from in it came a noise. She bent the handle without effort and with her hand, she waved, back through time, we entered through a doorway once her grave. The night sky seemed to follow, well before the dawn, down through magic passageways, from whence ghost travel from whence they come. Her body moved so lightly, as so as if to say, nothing has ever owned me, not ever without my say. For with this in mind I traveled from a present course, and arrived back in time so ancient she led me without force.

I came upon an altar in a sudden winters gloom, with ashes it still smoldered by a loch under a winters moon. The queen of all the witches turned to tell me of the ruins. Of all my crazed filled travels in dreams of rare displays. No nothing not of something had ever taken me this way. For it was her in this travel, that I learned of simple things, how the body burned for living, can never be decayed. In the simple act of hatred, in one act of just one play. The building of the sovereign spirit by craft can find its own way. For her story is the cosmos, her travel by air woven sleighs, and she has made her world in forest cathedrals, and there her book of shadows stays.

First, I saw her in Lucy’s garden on a snowy Solstice Eve.

For my Whitby Lady my very own, she who I followed through a garden – 12.23.2018 – דָנִיֵּאל

Rain


“You love the thunder and you love the rain. You know your hunger like you know your name.” – Jackson Browne

I should be a better man, dry and tall, holding an umbrella underneath this waterfall!

The rain it came above “Navajo Lake”, it filled my youthful eyes. It made me cry to find my way, I wept until I was dry. Before I knew what, I should be, I was older and not so wise. For still the rain came inside me, it built a graveyard to help me hide, it stifled oxygen, and it stopped belief.

The rain it came above “Navajo Lake“, it came from hell below, and it fell in sheets of shadows until its liquid filled me so. An overwhelming void of nothing, for here opposites do not grow. A changing rite of season dragging age within its tow. I heard nothing of the thunder; I guess Jackson Browne don’t know, the rain without the thunder is inward hunger that continues to grow. The water poured without and within me, a black depression calling deep too deep in the valley, where it keeps. A world in water, nobody swimming for me to see, a world in water, weightless, weight that drowns, no keys. Then a calling, my spirit disappeared in memory, the heavens met the earth, and life and death bound me. There’s more water, raining nightly inwardly. Soaking quiet, when a whisper is said complete. Silence, silence, when I can’t recognize my face I see. Silence, silence, when I can’t recognize my face I see.

Play the Hammond, in the graveyard reverie, while it is raining, from my fair youth to the muddy life that flails in grief. Inward stranger, can’t you find a better way, lift your burdens, in the soaking, constant rain. I called the storm down, how do I make it go away. All my life now, held in a constant sway, where there is reason, somebody help me pray. Inside this pale, how it does rain, I’ve seen the oceans, no islands displayed. Roaring, silence, where everything no longer stays. Roaring silence, where everything no longer stays.

The rain it came above “Navajo Lake”, it filled my youthful eyes. It made me cry to find my way, I wept until I was dry. Before I knew what, I should be, I was older and not so wise. For still the rain came inside me, it built a graveyard to help me hide, could be I am a better man, I will look outside and maybe I will see heaven.

I Am that I Am a better man, dry and tall, holding an umbrella underneath this waterfall! – 07.18.2018 – דָּנִיֵּאל