Zones of a Non-Linear Discourse on the Red Seal

Non-linear because I want to draw you into the circle of reflection and consideration and trial and error of this process I’ve been working on for several months now.



red seal records

re/a/d seal

seals of Donegal

a seal in Galway harbor




caves of the Dordogne and the Pyrenees

are topological extensions of our minds

brains calvaria

where we find scratched on the wall

ONLY what we are prepared to read

The decipherments of rock scratches

Sobin, Eshleman et al.


read the impressions on the mind

read the fissures folds

for the brain also is a process of creases and folds

cerebral cortex cork rind of our tree

to write on bark

beech bark smooth beech = Buche = buch


to make the mind disgorge

its buried darknesses

to make the dark speak

without trying to turn it

into the presumptuous light

like honoring the dream

by carrying it around by day

by reading/re-reading it

not by interpretation

but by dwelling with

because reading a book is dreaming someone else’s

I mean to enter the caves ― whether Lascaux or language ― and come out with a decent dark thing, a word or poem,

That does not presume to interpret what was found down in there

But is itself the fruit of that sweet encounter with the, in the, dark.

Anthrôpos pantôn metron said the Greeks,

The human is the measure/means of all things,

What was carved on the rock wall

Speaks in us now.


BREATH is the light that illuminates the word

…hence the world.

Variation on Cocteau:  Un seul souffle éclaire le monde.


read seal

= radix too,

the radical,

passing a little intersection in a Boston suburb

and seeing it was called Red Square

(not far from the courthouse where Sacco and Vanzetti were persecuted and destroyed)

Red Square

Red sign

The radical


A word is radical, is root

A word is radical, so we have found the roots

And spoken them


Don’t expect any person to do two lives at you.

The poem is a treatise

And sometimes the poet uses prose as a disguise

(like Lorca’s wonderful plays, or Olson’s wonderful essays)

the poem is a treatise that can never be made obsolete by subsequent research

because the poem is the prime investigation of its world disclosed.


Red Seal records,

Records then were disks with grooves on them,

In wax, shellac, vinyl later,

As now the optical gleams refract from the whirling CD

Grooves of light

Light refracted, light concentered,

To find the center of light.

Let all thought leave a mark

On some wall,

then invent a system to read it,

this reading system is called writing.

(Now I read it to you and you write by hearing)


The oldest sign

The red hand on the wall

Read what someone thought,

Read how someone leaned

Her hand against the wall.

                                                               28 November 2000


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