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dreaming in the shadows of the Sleeping Maiden

Mt. Tamalpais, August 30, 2012

Mt. Tam glimpsed in the haze of late afternoon sun

I couldn’t let August pass without bringing out this old (and once a favorite) poem from the 1970s by Robert Hass. Every time I read this poem these days, I remember the same 1970s and how deeply lost I was in the woods of words looking for an experience that was always right there in front of me in plain sight and in full light and always within reach. If only if had gone to pick blackberries, instead of studying Lacan…

Picking Blackberries With a Friend Who Has Been Reading Jacques Lacan

August is dust here. Drought
stuns the road,
but juice gathers in the berries.

We pick them in the hot
slow-motion of midmorning.
Charlie is exclaiming:

for him it is twenty years ago
and raspberries and Vermont.
We have stopped talking

about L’Histoire de la vérité,
about subject and object
and the mediation of desire.

Our ears are stoppered
in the bee-hum. And Charlie,
laughing wonderfully,

beard stained purple
by the word juice,

Goes to get a bigger pot.

– from the collection Praise (1979)