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the beautiful underbelly

Easter 2012-23

as I lie in our bed
with this naked time bomb
beneath my chin
i think of the hours until God will say when
and my chest will cave in
my throat will become dry
my feet against your soil will cry
and this city of joy
will become a city of goodbye
the city of our story
will become the city where our story dies

you are milk
you are honey
you are the land beneath my feet
the pulse against my breast
the arabic shadow
in which i have found my rest
i am a long time traveller

- hallie

Drake's House 2-430-3

desert Solitaire, I’m happy to add, contains no hidden meanings, no secret messages.
it is no more than it appears to be, the plain and simple account of a long, sweet season lived in one of the world’s most splendid places.

if some might object that the book deals too much with mere appearances, with the surface of things, and fails to engage and reveal the patterns of unifying relationships that many believe form the true and underlying reality of existence, I can only reply that I am content with reality, with appearances. i know nothing about underlying reality, having never encountered any.

I’ve looked and I’ve looked, tried fasting, drugs, meditation, religious experience, even self-mortification, but never seem to get any closer to basic reality than the lizard on a rock, a hawk in the sky, a dead pig in the sunshine. Beneath each stone I find more stone; under the skirts of beauty I find only her delicious thighs; peeling an onion to the core I end up with nothing but the perfect complement to my hot skillet of fried eggs, diced chilies and hash brown turnips.

appearance is reality, I say, and more than most of us deserve. you whine and whimper after immortality beyond space-time?

come home, for God’s sake and enjoy this gracious earth of ours while you can.

you tell me that pretty girl yonder, lifting her dress to wade into the stream of love, is really nothing but a transient vortex of organic energy?
okay, you contemplate the underlying relationships; I’ll take the girl.

- edward abbey, foreword, desert solitaire

for kathryn

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