The First Card
An adventurous ‘hello’ from Hollow Head
Island! Apologies about the penmanship.
It seems the postcards shake these days,
not the volcanoes, not the earth.
So far we’ve been to the Stalactite Park,
the Gotterdammerung Grotto, hid in
the Hidden Caves, got lost in the Lost World.
We even walked some of the Infinity Trail.
No one finishes that, I guess. Ha-ha!
Abandonment in extremis. Ha-ha!
The Second Card
Another ‘hello’ from Hollow Head Island!
Yesterday we took the ‘Journey to
the Center of the Earth’ tour. Down, down
into a deep crevasse, two miles to see
the Rorschach Sandstones! I shall have
to write to you about panpsychism,
about the ‘antecedents problematic’.
It was like being inside a volcano.
The tremors remain inside of me. How can
I even think at all? Remind me. Was it
Protagoras or Pythagoras who jumped
into the volcano? The antecedents thing
suggests ‘he jumped’ sufficient, precedent
enough, enough to be a god.
The Third Card
A hollow ‘hello’ from Hell! Yes, from Hell.
Where do names come from? This Hell is
a sleepy fishing village and the best
spot that we’ve found on Hollow Head,
a Sleepy Hollows, so to speak.
We are in the ‘Bridegroom’, a little Bed
and Breakfast, run by a Rip Van Winkle
wise enough to know it was Empedocles
who jumped into Mount Etna. Empedocles!
Is my face red! Yet it will glorify
my pronoun to perfection—‘he jumps’. Yes,
both poetry and philosophy ought
to have the same antecedent. They forge
a world that’s capable of consciousness.
The self, per se, remains vestigial—
the voice of the volcano, not its source.
Your pronoun is the antecedent, not
your noun. Problematic resolved. Perhaps
I will go for a walk in Hell, perhaps
I will take the air, take the breezes.
A wonderful day in Hell! Ha-ha!
The Last Card
You ask no questions; I provide the answers.
Greetings, my friend! We have moved on from Hell.
Today I stand in surf up to my knees.
Imagine: liquid rock, a steaming sea,
the battle of fire with water, land
like iron being forged, the earth refreshed.
We must make this moment a postcard from
infinity. My friend, I need your help.
This message, like our hope for life itself,
must be left unattributed. It must
be left an unresolved antecedent.
Think of Empedocles poised at the mouth
of that volcano, Etna’s edge. He is
about to enter this world’s soul. He is about
to die. We are all thrown into the world.
Empedocles, the poet philosopher,
must hear a voice from far into
the future, a voice from today that will
insure his resurrection, one
to clarify his immortality.
Write something in the sand for him to see.
There was something more,
something more divine,
Write that. Leave it unsigned.
For I have been ere now a boy and a girl,
a bush and a bird and a dumb fish in the sea.
Write that. Knowledge will come.