Artwork by Anselm Kiefer - Poem by Laurence Fuller
Ruins of an ancient pilgrimage reverberate in fields of rusted sunflowers creaking up the air below my pedaling feet. Floating forward my tires move with slow cranks, the sound rings out across the field of fallen tribal warriors. History passes in fragments of my DNA, like the biographies of the masses written in rusted metal wires in my blood. Tires touch the ground, digging in the earth, we come to a stop. Dirt sputters as I stand on the levers to propel me nowhere. Impatience gathers in my heels as I push and push and deeper it concealed my modest chariot to the earth.
Cold gravel crushing down around my muddy boots here I have found in this land a place for the broken mercenary to roam.
Piled up bodies like the remnants of great battles hanging off hardened stalks, I walk with those fallen, their gravestone solid in our bodies buried in our hearts there we are, tokens of time past I dropped into the casket and took away with me the knife that strapped across my chest. Into the wilderness I cut bear pelts down from the forest of my mind to cover what I felt and move with honor. I’ll drag my bleeding body through it all to see once more that face of destiny, my child is wrapped up in clay mountains on distant shores. My family divided and my home displaced. My journey ahead is for the will, I’ll leave this bag of skin, this bone dried flask, this ragged book, ditch the pages of sentiment, it’s all in me now, I carry it bare skin, I walk with those fallen.
Appearing like the mark of time manifested in the earth a small bomber plane, crashed and lying in the rocks and clumps of earth it shifted on it’s journey from sky to ground. The divots in the roof rafters, cuts through the rough cement, gashes in steel fevering their threads in the mesh of discomfort, the sun blasts through it all. Memories of heroes carved out on the walls and hardened in plane site, the metal scraps rusted total vigor on this pendulum. Junk yard of barbarians and knights coated in lead armor marching through the past, their conquests guided by their will to power.
Cement spiritual wasteland surround in towering blocks of mishapen lookouts where those whose eyes and ears are more beneficial to the kings than their metal which they left bankrupted on shoes of other stronger men. Hair bristling from my skin tangles in the weeds of my self possession I’m locked into a deep moss of twisted overlapping sprints towards the cycle of my masculinity. I clamber through thorny passages of brutal love. Wrenching upward tears my muscles on the forward thrusts towards the air. I am a taboo to love, hot swilling blood slides down vines and down my body, over my stomach conditioned by the jabs of war. Coated in blood and lust I lay. And I’m solitary staring up at the glassy sky for answers.
I’m here again my tortured friend, pulled bones from my flesh again and I have less structure to myself more fleshy mess of inconclusion, all I thought I had was gone and not enough to hold up the muscle. Too pulled along by fleeting fragments, too easily snagged by quick ideas, too relaxed and entertained, a quiet comfort ticks away the days and weeks, a little here and there is enough, enough to satisfy the discontent within me until the next happy time when I can dominate the landscape.
The will does not come. Something else. Their voices reach me. My ancestors talk to me down passages underground, they’re calling in the night for something more, summoning a greater calling from the gurgling of my guts. That vibrating romantic roar of the graves of many powerful voices, greatness ringing in the halls of mankind. Blistering, beating drums, lying blind staring up at the sky, my eyes had been ripped out by the vultures of my unconscious anger. Solitude made me a better man, I found comfort in my dusty nature. I torched myself in the abyss of pleasure and conquest, gathered gold and looted hearts for what I could pillage from the beautiful. I blinded the wolves that stalked my mind and I ate her spirit with the God of war in me as she moved chess pieces with that hubris to the check mate of our days.
I turn over on my belly and begin to dig, my hands slapped the mud in succession of each beat I pelted the ground to answer the call of my ancestors. Gathering the earth between my fingers ripping the grass which grew in the way of my destiny.
The plough and the sword lay buried barely visable through cement blocks, sealed over in ruins of new constructions, carved out by hammer and sickle, whose now dulled blunt edges lay by their side. I kept digging.
Gold bent over itself, twisted shiny jewels spike out from the crater forming around my body. It was the Monarch’s symbol of rule that now bent and brittle from the weight of time, stopping in a moment of distant admiration to take in that chorus of divine blood manifest in precious treasures.
For now I am a secret amongst those triumphant, they whisper my name amongst hollow chambers of locked down repeated dusty hallways of castigated power. Crusted over by their tomb of certainty they remain.
Sediments of thought, they’re cast there in cement and metal, stapeled to the oil, washing in a million years of dinosaur bones, slick poured over the graves of buried soldiers scrubbed back to reveal the medals of fallen glory on the waistcoats of angels.
I cannot touch it anymore this material spirit, it’s outside off me now, it’s pasted on canvases and crows feet. The plough, the corn, the rocks and stalks of time. Cracked terra-cotta pots had no chance under the weight of history.
That garden of dried out hardened stalks that grow, past that plough and sword from another journey that did not cross my own. I dig further to find a garden underground, a river runs under its top layer, washing rocks and mud and roots.
Pen and brush, typewriter smudged paint fingerprints, lead keys pressing down, tapping out manuscripts of the future. Shattered stain glass window fragments, Snt Peter lies in scattered pieces under rushing holy waters.
Forgiveness is in that incessant grasping at the water which runs inevitably through unclenched fingers of desire.
Oil crema that swills with diamonds, gold, desire covert, for the blood of possession. This here we share, this here for the blood and oil of our tribe, we run by our connection to eachother, we run by muddy footprints in the echoing cave. We run to new shores of victory. The river of a man before guided by his premonition.
Following the echoes of that tapping I journey out towards the shining entrance of the cave filling the tunnels with a white glow, bending sharp whistling fluttering pages of a manuscript I half wrote not too long ago, filled with passed down stories of all those lives that came before.
Ice fields of glistening melting rocks, flakes of dripping shining beauty water fields. Flowing blubber, that river of penultimate reality uncovers the vast waterfalls of man’s reason tumbling concept over structure into the oceans moving with a single body.
Crustaceans growing on its belly, the soulful beast moved through the water, fountains of fundamental liquid pouring from its spout. Plankton in many millions filtered through brushing teeth caught steady on the bow of its eternal head.
There I stood before the water’s edge, my self possession rests on all I once knew. I float those pages on the waters of salt washed swill.
Assured by the constance of my journey for it to be within my grasp, I plant the seeds of the past but through that frozen wasteland where whales dance in the harmony with the sea, in the ice sapling grow pushing small and pure through agitated slush that washed like snow over many decades of antiquated dreams. Step out into bright ice landscape melting yet barely hardened the whaling whales in unison, the giants of the soul.
That pace I now set to my own accord, writes with every step a new chapter in the fortune.