A Journal of the Irrepressible

Archive for March, 2001

It’s a Permeable Life

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essay by Brian Charles Clark

Yucca Valley in the late 1960sMy interest in permeability formed a clot in my imagination the day I first flew solo. I was thirteen, and I was alone. I was sitting on top of the Knoll, for the first time surveying what would be my stomping grounds for the next fifteen years. My fear of moving away from Chula Vista, tucked away in the southwestern-most corner of California, fear of leaving friends behind, all sour was distilled by the calm sage and stoic Joshua trees. The dark chemistry of depression sank deep away into the vats of boulders beneath my feet.

I was leg dangling on an outcropping of rock about nine feet wide. The rock face dropped some ten feet beneath my seat, and then buried itself in the reddish desert dirt. The realtor who sold my parents the acreage, on which they had a house built, had dragged a magnet through the soil and pulled it up coated with iron filings. The eastern face of the Knoll sloped steeply away beneath me for several hundred feet. A cool breeze pushed with mild insistence at my back, and the future was luring me into the arms of the air. In a moment that is indelibly tattooed on my physiological memory—this is a moment that I can ever re-member—I lurched and then I flew. Out, over, in–now I can offer an explanation, but what was really happening, what did flying really feel like? Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Brian

March 8th, 2001 at 11:47 am

Posted in essay, memoir, the marvelous

When I Speak Your True Names

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poem by Brian Charles Clark
(for Miles and Hawthorne)

My heart wanders. I love you
more than nomads. I long for us
to enter tents, and come out
bearing wings. In our stolen lands
there is no time for singing,
and if our love for a moment
is a dune,
then are dunes vacations for Americans?
I rue and curse the day of imperialism,
and creep through Turtle Island
at night. In the tent should burn some wood.
Why did our spark
not catch flame? Were we not dry enough,
was our kindling still wet behind the ears?
Or is our culture a flashflood,
pissing on our cactus flowers?
Picked up by the wind, the sand
groans like a sitar in ecstasy.
A big dust comes up,
vision becomes historical. I see your faces
as generations of impressions,
shouting and caressing,
three are this storm we,
and we are a wind of skirt songs
and shirt tails and ours is a beautiful whine
of strong making.
You two, we know how to prove things
with our bodies. We know where the Earth is.
I sleep next to the fire.

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Written by Brian

March 7th, 2001 at 10:57 am

Posted in poetry