Live as if you were already dead. – Zen admonition 1. About the Dead Man and the Foundry The dead man hath founded the dead man's foundry. He acted in the past perfect, he funded it with clean dirt, pure water and the spotless air. Then he was melted, he was molded, he was poured and shook out. He was ground and sanded, he was machined to a sweet tolerance. The dead man took pains to stay alive, this was how. It was the undersong of the self, the subtext, the no-man's-land's calling. For the dead man was subterranean to start. He was the tuber in the sun, the worm warming, the root that stays put. The dead man became again what he was, he germinated. It was the foundry of the sun, the foundry of the earth's core, the foundry of the electric light and the dry cell. It was the retrofit energy that did it, the assemblage after dispersion, the kick in the pants we call chaos. We are the children of a hothouse, among orchids that grow in lava. 2. More About the Dead Man and the Foundry The foundry of the dead man pops and smolders with re-creation. It is recreated in the titanic and the miniature, every detail. Within the dead man, the same fire burns. The same furnace, the same raw materials that made flesh. The same red water, the same liquid sinew cooling. The dead man's foundry has made weapons and ploughshares, and those who use them. The foundry and the forge, the shapes imprisoned in the molten streams of rough matter, these are precursors of the human, too. The steam escaping from a wounded body is the foundry. The heat of exhalation, the blush of desire, the red sun under the skin—they are the foundry. And the high temperature of the ill, and the heat of the first foundry reassembling at its source. If you believe in the reformation of energy, then you believe as well in the dead man. He is heating up, and what is emotion?
Marvin Bell - 1937-2020
Mars Being Red
Being red is the color of a white sun where it lingers on an arm. Color of time lost in sparks, of space lost inside dance. Red of walks by the railroad in the flush of youth, while our steps released the squeaks of shoots reaching for the light. Scarlet of sin, crimson of fresh blood, ruby and garnet of the jewel bed, early sunshine, vestiges of the late sun as it turns green and disappears. Be calm. Do not give in to the rabid red throat of age. In a red world, imprint the valentine and blush of romance for the dark. It has come. You will not be this quick-to-redden forever. You will be green again, again and again.