Variation 1: Yhwh
Explode from the cauldron dark,
that’s what I’d do for them: That in mind into self
and other I divided. In and in I overlapped in density
and where I was gravid I breathed their breaths.
With my body like a brine spiraling I stirred
the silence till it echoed apart from me, and where I
was deafened I hummed their frequencies.
From a floating ground I fired rounds of clouds
flaming and where they burned I brewed the rutilated
light till it refracted in the wells between comets rocketing.
In and in through the ancient rooms I fell and where
there were thresholds I left them canyons gorgeous
and aggrieved. Flung wide, electrified, I striated skies
with ellipsis, color, collapse, shot suns past
eclipse, blew the air for sound to sound
from touch, touched them till they cried in ecstacy:
Out and out and through the skin my sweat
ran and poured into hollows so where I emptied
they filled and though I encompassed
they merely contained. Into the molten cavity I
dropped a stone, I lit the furnace, stretched a hide.
I wielded the ragged white-veined ice and birthed
spinning galaxies in atoms, vital alluvium, the eternal
quest for me. I remembered and made them
forget. I raged and sweetened them. Formless then
I dimensioned space, delineated them. I swallowed
my own throat to feed them hungers delicious.
Where I could not pass I corridored their heavens.
Where I felt nothing I caused them passion and urge.
I watch them and they are blind to me.
I sleep, and they dream.
I cry out to them, and they die.
* * *
Alice B. Fogel is the author of Be That Empty: Apologia for Air (Harbor Mountain Press), Elemental and I Love This Dark World (Zoland Books). No Tell Motel first published this poem in May 2005. Alice wrote, “Var. 1: Yhwh” is based on the Kabbalah’s notion of the Zim-Zum, which is pretty much like the big bang theory in physics. I also thought of Francis Ponge’s “Kings do not touch doors,” or how lonely the powerful are. The way the universe is spinning in and out replicates the way Bach’s variations often climb up and down scales, sometimes involving the crossing over of hands."