I ask the first poem-prayer in this new series of poem-prayers I’m writing to “fasten my invocation awake,” but once I’ve executed my initial request — I write the words where they belong in the opening couplet, “VERY SORE & SO ASUNDER commune / to fasten my invocation awake” and then several more times in the right margin just to be sure the poem is taking this command especially seriously, “fasten my invocation awake / fasten my invocation awake / fasten my invocation awake” — Who, exactly, is responsible for rousing Awake? I’ve also just designed and birthed VERY SORE & SO ASUNDER, so it can’t be them, and so, Who?
Which is to say, once I order my poem-prayer to perform a particular maneuver — a maneuver that must affect the outcome of the remaining sounds, breaks, and proclivities of the poem-prayer itself (and for itself, removed from me and my desires) — Who is in charge of the resulting lines?
Are these lines written in a child-language of the command itself? Do these first lines belong to the newborn cries of the newly expressive invocation-babies? Or, is this . . . Awake’s voice? Certainly Awake’s voice belongs to her, and I can’t take sole credit for summoning her throaty bellows into existence, even if temporarily. Or, is it true — did I possess true creative control of my initial request? Did I — finally — invoke the correct sonic elasticity to begin with?
I know, for example, that a schizophrenic man is treasure hunting in a recycling bin across the street. He’s using a Bounty Hunter Tracker IV, which he just demonstrated for me in repeated detail about fifteen minutes ago (no treasure populating my digestive system, no treasure of the eyes, nose, ears, or mouth, no treasure swimming in my brains). He tells me, in fact, that I’m free to fly.
I also know, for example, that the man at the table next to me is playing chess by himself (with Simpsons deluxe edition chessmen, replete with a laminated fold-up board, and Marge is the queen, though the blue of her frizzy updo is deeply unsatisfying in this plastic depiction).
All three of us — me, the treasure hunter, and the lonesome chess player — are all involved in eerily similar activities.
For example, I also know it’s deeply satisfying to capitalize Awake not just for the purposes this journal entry, but that the lines which follow the initial couplet of the poem-prayer also avoid every question I’ve asked here (and, indeed, I still don’t know Who wrote them!): “I can’t keep busy any longer / w the Tremendous / Truth — Here is this echo / Terrible — Here is this echo / I make / alone / Alone / & here, unstrapped / Here / is the echo again/ Terrible, she echoes again.”