julianna buchsbaum

 

CRITIQUE OF THE METAPHYSICS OF BEES

 

I.

Bees are tactile spots of disbelief in a field of air. The idea of them is almost exhilarating. Amid the dogwoods of nearby suburbs, banks in acute distress are closed. Phenomena in the wake of those who are cold become pellucid. The principle of a held breath is no more a god than a person altered by existence. Emergence into existence is merely a fragment of a breath of god. I watch fragments of red reveal parts of the water, remembering winter and the end of white on page 11.

 

II.

The wintry faculty of white-on-white and what men it took away. Hours after the knowledge of night is wasted on the distant, luminous goal of the streets, we are stars reverberating in a conduit like spokes of god. Those who seek to give shape to the Delphic day find themselves dreaming, as it were, in the dark, gazing on a body of changes and the stains of reeds (see Bees, 1979, 123). Descartes left us with water and the languorous roar of lawnmowers starting up in the distance.

 

III.

The subject wastes itself night after night over the sheer metallic surface of its sense of self. Animals are primary and make no sense. The creek demonstrates that if you wait, desires will shape your body hour by hour. For weeks, to a surprising degree, I don’t know how much I dream in the dark. In the pharmacies of nearby suburbs, sugarcane and bees are medication. This, if true, seems to go beyond a bee’s mere role-playing of an oblivious bee in its hive.

 

IV.

If I don’t know of a passion, that is progress.

 

V.

The ways that bees behave do not admit of ruling principles. In assuming control of the world, you are not the body’s best prospect but you are a body. Even a held breath hasn’t a god’s passivity (see Hours & Nights, 1992, 5). How can I vanish if I choose not to? Bees are not ours because we think of them.

 

VI.

The body wastes itself passively in the presence of illness. I concede to someone else the spruce that lends its presence to the creek. For weeks, and melodramatically, I don’t describe what my dreams are in the dark. At any rate, at 5am the government thinks my thoughts for me.

 

VII.

One’s body or one’s beehive bodily, one’s thoughts, or one’s thinking the air is filled with thoughts. Take the dream of a new acquaintance in the dark. These offices change so oft the body profits, changes its rows into columns, changes its rose into—the bees have given grace a double winter.

 

VIII.

Due to the presence from which I exile myself, whose influence is thine and born of thee, of others’ works for weeks I don’t stomach the style—so oft have I found thee a Muse of fair profusion.

 

IX.

And every alien light in which you became pellucid. And every mind that goes numb in the suburbs. To these the bees, heavily tactile, sing.

 

X.

With sweetness in the dark my body changes. The stains of all my art succeed my body by the light of those who live in nearby suburbs. Hours after night wastes itself above the dark tactile spots of graves, the graves will aid our memory. The air, time’s dial, thievish winter, and a bee’s stealth may we know. The spruce lends its presence to what it cannot contain near the river where stars fall down like glass bees.