25 October, 2019

Reading Notes: Red Finch and On Seppuku

I am weary of personal worrying, in love with the art of madness. - Rumi

A man moving fast cannot enjoy scenery contemplatively. - Frederick Law Olmstead

Red Finch (10/21/19)

A fall storm is kicking up. What honeysuckle leaves remain have been turned over and waiting all day for the arrival of a rain no one has confidence in. 

The birds and squirrels have returned, if only for the end of the season remains. As I sit in my chair, this red finch keeps landing on the sill of the window facing the back porch. The bird pecks on the sill and window pane, knocking. I see it peering in at me the way the dog and cat do when they’re outside and ready to come in. 

I don’t know what to tell the bird. 


"...in medieval times we believed that sincerity resided in our entrails, and if we needed to show our sincerity, we had to cut open our bellies and take out our visible sincerity. And it was also a symbol of the will of the soldier, the samurai." - Yukio Mishima

(Japanese fascist and writer who died from a botched attempt at seppuku (ritual death) rather than "admit the decay of the body." He also popularized American-style weight lifting in post-war Japan.)

On seppuku  (10/23/19)

Death is not the most difficult part. Neither
is the will power. Pushing through the knife –
now that exposes one’s willingness
to bare the most intimate sincerity. 

The trick is this: sing. Sing
as the blood breaks into the air,
like passing gas or the way a balloon
deflates, waiting on the final mercy – 

your head staring up from the basket. 

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