A poem by Mark Decarteret
Since a child I have been drawn
to the Sun, the pleasure it gleans
from Its senseless abandonment, Its furious mane
like a caravan camped in the desert, born
from the betrayal of body, each dawn
into eternity. What I have seen
and endured, I will imitate, wean,
myself of this world, be done
with sensation, the smoke from smoldering husks
rearing up sickly sweet with its promise
of flame and in turn dismember
my wardrobe, stack up this hair as if brush,
bend my bones as if kindling, so the Sun’s kiss
reduces my resistance into embers.
The poem taken from a wonderful collection of poetry: ‘Place of Passage: Contemporary Catholic Poetry’. Researching the poet, I came across an insightful quote, revealing his methods of operation. The quote is taken from the above linked website.
Boy, the episodes that provoked “Pink Eye” are a bit foggy, unlogged. An idea arising as much from an advertisement for sties, this study for an experimental treatment, (poetry as protuberance, swelling, even somewhat of an affliction or curse?) as Thoreau’s excursions to the outer reaches of Massachusetts where he was subjected to the wreckage of many a ship (as well as on Fire Island where Emerson was “to charge” him in the retrieval of the remains of their friend Margaret Fuller, a passenger on the sunken Elizabeth), thus poetry as recovery, salvage, or in a remedial sense, potential cure-all or salve. And maybe some modest and misguided version of what Harold Bloom refers to as a “shore-ode,” verse that “identifies night, death, the mother, and the sea.” But basically I was struck by this strange juxtaposition–the bereft hermit resigned to his calling, this mission, and those odd maladies, which not only impair or hamper the seeing of anything through, but in some miraculous way, let it be recast, transfigured.