The Heights of Macchu Picchu
Grace painting the circle for the icon denoting the REFERENCE section of the library
resembles mu, emptiness, the goal of chán, zen, the school of nothing, of learning
from not being, from realizing there is no angst about what never was, what won’t ever be.
Grace painting circles in the dim light. Downstairs, three-milk cake and more Keynote slides.
The people all try to climb such great heights and reach another sky. Down below,
we wonder, if we abuse the gods enough, in plainer words, if we fuck up hard enough,
will they throw a banquet for us? Will the builders of the perpendicular city call us up to view
the impossible sunrise over the rainforest, over the steppes, the river valley, dead fortresses,
long plains, new roads twisting and falling suddenly, small families of confused German tourists
and taxi drivers, all driving up, all forcing higher the vision of the people, of the earth, even if
it is quick to flit, bored, to another site, to the pyramids, to Mars. Grace painting and painting…
The circles and circles coronate a new passions, I hope. Let go the failures of others.
Surmount the possibility that one day, yes, the rivers will run dry. For now, the foxes drink
whiskey and demand to know our names. We run up the cliffs like goats, sniffing for jasmine.
—Wythe Marschall, 5/2/2012
- The Heights of Macchu Picchu, Pablo Neruda, trans. Nathaniel Tarn, 1971