Robert Kelly: An Alchemical Journal (5)

The third time, she tells me, is the Charm. I try again: Hoping to learn by a sign how the Work prospers, I look out into the morning & see a black hen, her white chick.

What does she do now she is naked? Is this anti-climax? What did I do when the el train rolled on? What was that kingdom of my Consequence? Climax & anti-climax. The ladder & what the ladder leads to, a sloping roof, ridgepole high. You can straddle the crest, or stand for a time on the declivity, then fall.

hsinWhat I have to do now is to lecture on 

hsin, the heart. There is an intensity of energy where energy, en.ergon is the work-within, the force from which all things are outered.

Now forcesince energy (force, virtu, te) is a process (not a thing) it cannot be conceived of as in a place, only as a place. This is the inside, or inside the geometric point; the inscape of the point is the heart of God—primum  mobile.

(She  held  her arms  out before her, then snapped them back to her sides, elbows down, clenched fists hitting the shoulder. That was sin, she said.)

Woman I love you for the force within you that sometimes joyously outers, is not exhausted, draws me to it as to center. When we were married she said: I will be abundant.

But hsin, the heart, is not the romantic heart; it is the well-primed & steady pump that runs the organism of our intellect. Draw me a picture of intelletto, draw me a wolf stealing meat from a boiling pot, using a long-handled spoon. Fork. We pace the heart that paces us. The heart pumps blood to the brain from which Hermes the Pacemaker descends to pace the heart. Feed me, feed me, cries the human intellect. Overswarming the deserts of the Pleistocene, man reasons about the weather, becomes man, grasps & eats.

Somewhere we are all naked under our clothes. Nakedness & hunger, the sovereign gestures of the intellect, concealing & revealing, are the heart’s work, heart’s en-ergy—our strength.

The body. Robe of concealment. Robe of revelation. End of the lecture on hsin, the heart. But the audience does not leave, does not end. They repose in their seats, notebooks on the writing-arms of their chairs: “Before you send us away, you must tell us what place this is in which we are.” I answer them: you are in the college of the Jesuits, in the Society of Jesus. The picture on the wall is the emblem of the Order: under the guise of two wolves, the Body & the Intellect steal the energy of the Heart. Yeheshuah hangs before you on a Roman cross. Crucify the heart.

I wake up past noon. I come home in a box.

Even then the treatise was not over. Rabbi Dobh Baer (=Bear Bear) had a word or two to say. “Why did they call my Commentary on Enstasy a tractate on Ecstasy? Wont they ever learn?” Jesus is taken down from the cross by a party of rabbis, who grieve over the dead man. Miles away, Simon of Cyrene stumbles under the burden of no cross.
“Null-Cross,”
Dobh Baer cries,
“they criss-
crossed us;
no enstasy?
crossed out our hearts.”

To answer my earliest question: it would have been enough to see the sun rise.

They misunderstand Chance. Dont you see (dont I see) that once you reckon Chance in the system, all other possibilities are annulled? Chance is total if it is at all. By chance, internally coherent systems may arise. Once Chance is reckoned with, the presence of order is no evidence of design. As Chaucer knew; any man who has the Miller follow the Knight is some bloody kind of atheist, a Christian atheist perhaps, or godly bolshevik. Outside his book, Crisseyed gets leprosy from screwing around. Lives in a box. Contaminates the sea. Whose ass do I kiss? Exactly twenty years ago I heard them saying Hubba Hubba. Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas.

O my first love forgive me that I can call you first.

It was unrealistic. There were the four of us, myself & the three women. I brought them to my secret home & showed them my colleagues & fathers & priests & pupils under the maples, grey-haired old men warming benches, young men studying the veins of trees, astronomy of tree bark, the 365 poetic meters & the famous lost fractional meter thatcompletes the year—was that Silence, or the quarter-rest, the time the sun takes out to turn? Jesus Christ how old I am! I who remembered when this maple had been an Indian/icus, & before that a frond-tree of Shamballa, I who had been Naciketas before the world was changed now turned to the blonde young man & said Naciketas, I am bright death inside your skin, hearken to me & learn all. Then I fell silent. He held out the horoscope I had invented for him; I saw Lincoln on the Tenth house & Antinous rising. Dante sang in the hell of the Eighth. On the cusp of the house of marriage was the Thirteenth sign, unknown in Judeo-Christian times. Saturn slept. I reached in & twisted the Neck of the Serpent till his venom dropped down & woke Loki. I burn, I burn, he said. This is unrealistic, the women said. Who is the naked picture of the young man on your wall? He is a great American actress, my ladies, & you have seen, albeit unworthily, one of the few revelations of the Secret College of the Holy Spirit. A bunch of pederasts if you ask me, one of them guessed. I resumed my smoking cap, held my peace & led them away.

There! That was Major Hoople talking, Roma 1942, Annandale 1966.1 would honor specifically here Gilbert Sorrentino, who got there before me. Furthermore, practically anybody can beat me at pool.

When I got back t the motel I tried to explain to her what the Collegium Spiritus Sancti was, how from Pleistocene times at least the angels who watch over men have seen to the continuity of certain spirits who incessantly re-dwell in our midst, &. how I had long, long been one of these beings. She doubted my powers; I changed myself into a phallus & futtered her into silence, o holy swastika. She sleeps now while I write. Outside, a busy highway connects New York City with the moon.

A flute is playing. Shakuhachi. If it is played long enough, there is an end to fictions. After her dance: kill this woman!

He read, then wrote, about Sandalphon, angel of Earth. Angels in jeans, blue & white & otherwise. Pun.

[… to be continued]

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