Animal's House of Muse

Vibes to Feed the Hasty Soul with the States of All that Matters

In Honor of Lil’ One

A few weeks ago, I spotted a tiny lizard next to the marching band field. She was looking a little worse for wear, so I took her in and nursed her back to health. She became the marching band mascot. Kids and staff alike adored her. And she won my whole heart, pure and simple.

But then tragedy struck. She suffered from a neurological disorder, the cause of which will remain unknown. Her death was excruciating to watch, though I was happy to comfort her as she passed.

My fellow marching staff members helped me bury her next to the band room in a ceremony befitting the beauty of spirit she embodied, in the light of a full moon on a crisp October night. The following words represent most of my speech. Some words I jumbled. Some I had yet to find at the time. The sentiment the following words intimate, however, has not changed since her service. And since her service, the marching band executed an undefeated season. I believe Lil’ One was with us every step of the way.

IN HONOR OF LIL’ ONE, THE BEST LIZARD THAT EVER WAS

Memory is tricky. Moments come and go; fade away into an abyss of the past. And when we attempt to recall what no longer is, we never fully restore those moments as we originally experienced them. We forget; we imbue those moments with meaning that reflects more of our current perceptual state than what really was. But some moments are special. Some moments embody and directly express that which connects all moments together, the irreal; the eidetically absolute. In those moments, our attention immersed in pure love, itself, the power of beauty preserves for us the typically contingent content that would otherwise perish through the wild ride of lived experience. Such that when we recollect those moments, we represent their events and states of affairs clearly, distinctly, as they originally were. We feel once more and know once more the full sense of what we gathered; of what we intimately shared with the world. Those special moments reflect a continuous harmony of spirit that ultimately sanctions our humanity. And given that beauty embalms these sublime treasures, recollections of those special moments are typically accompanied by tears.

Lil One, I’ll never forget the moment when I first spotted you on that tiny rock next to the marching field. I’ll never forget your gaping smile as you enjoyed your first bath in your bottle cap swimming pool, in your new, warm index card holder abode. Nor will I ever forget how animated you became after eating two ants in a row for the first time. You mounted your front little lizard feet atop that little log in there, beamed up at me with the utmost self-satisfaction, declaring to me and to the whole world, “Ahh! Ha-ha! I am a LIZARD!” You truly were a good lizard, the best lizard. And though your time with us was short, you deeply touched all our hearts. We bury you next to the band room so that you may guard the purity of our endeavors, here; so that you may nourish the grounds that bring our various heart beats together under a shared rhythm and purpose. May we honor your life and memory through our continuous efforts to perfect ourselves and our craft. May we earn the touch of divine grace you recollected for us by merely gracing us with your presence, as we attend the primal content of our lives, no matter how tiny, with the utmost care.   

Your grateful friend, always and forever, Amen.

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Lizard Brain in Memoriam

Every philosopher’s deepest motivation is a chance at unbridled exploration of the unknown. To traverse fresh terrain; to touch unspoiled promise; to know what nobody else has ever known before – that’s what’s good. But what invariably results from such pursuits is the realization of what everybody else, what all of nature, already knew all along: that what’s known can’t be undone and what’s unknown is never done in the first place. Damn it all.

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A Thought Flung Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

In so many ways, I’m hungry. But I’m not distraught. I’m alive. I desire. And that is natural. I’m alright.

Poverty will get the best of you, if you let it. But as long as you use its effects to validate your humanity, a cool head will prevail over circumstance. And you’ll live to eat again.

My reason is pure, in that it’s wild. I’m an animal. And so I thrive in discomfort. May I destroy any thought that indicates otherwise.

May my words always represent the reality of chaos, which always eludes evaluation. To know them is to express them. To know me is to dissolve like clouds unto the ground.

Come feast with me. I have nothing. It’s delicious; tastes like hot sauce and finger sweat. It tastes like life – divine.

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Yeah, But, Pythagoras, I’m an American!

As big a fan of base ten as I am, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes sounds much more appealing than walking 1.609 kilometers in someone else’s shoes.

The natural sciences may certainly have their standards, but without natural language there’d be no End to their measures. And without an End, what is science?

Call me colloquial, if you wish. There’s always a better word for it, so long as Reason perdures. I’ll await my turn to know with precision. I prefer the life-world, anyway.

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Oh Would You Look at This, I’ve Dropped an Ontological Rung or Two

Reality can't touch you whenever you're writing a textbook
Nothing can!
But reality cannot
And that's why textbooks are so hard to finish -
The damn things need to exist

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There Have Been Many Times in My Life

I’ve felt instances of Beauty so close in Her resemblance 
I could hardly stand Her presence
I fell to my knees and blew chunks everywhere
And perhaps soiled my pants a bit
I don’t know; It was hard to tell
With the existential status of the material world deflating, as it were

I’m an illustrated woman
Permanently marked, as such times my life would define
The rhythms of my inner sense generations
And . . . if you look closely enough . . .
Whilst I sit still for long enough 
Those markings *will* spontaneously dance

To the beat of their original becoming, yes!
Revealing the taxonomy of circumstances
Which bear the weight of Beauty, proper
Unashamed
In Her fullest glory
Universally predicated upon no judgment, at all 

 

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February: An Injunction

Divine excess is the most unnecessary determination of reason

And yet purpose sustains it whenever conditions suddenly become hypothetical

A complete breakdown in substance, fragmented along the same propositions once holding it together,

And geometry is now a matter of life or death? – This is quite literally a nonsensical state of affairs; I only wish it were irreal!

In the meanwhile, as the eternal awaits its own recurrence, I’ll at least enjoy the phantasms projected on the walls

Copyright Keli Birchfield 2021

Confessions of One Who Once Called Upon Mercy

I came to Carthage
And I painted its roses red
Slapped them betches up real nice with a wide brush;
Petals dripping wet for days

I came to Carthage
And I predicated its eternals upon particulars,
Its properties upon accidentals;
My magnetism felling every single one of its components into fission

I came to Carthage
And I straight wrecked up the place;
Its substance learning the true meaning of extension:
My ultimate perdurance through time

Carthage came.
And I have only you to thank for that, my lord;
From whom and by whom and in whom all things are.
So it is, lord, so it is . . .
Who can possess anything at all which is not already yours?

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Thanks to St. Augustine for the direct quotes, Milton and Lewis Carroll for the divine and comedic inspiration, and the Western philosophical canon for the metaphysical metaphors.

Augustine. (2007). Confessions. M. Vessey, Trans.; New York: Barnes & Noble Books.

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Copyright Keli Birchfield 2021

I Forgot Why I Even Came Down Here

My tranquil place is a damp, dingy basement
Dimly lit by lengths of moonbeams
Writhing through its clouded storm windows
Bouncing from dust particle to dust particle
Circulating so until they illuminate
Specs of old ass paint barely hanging onto
The wood paneling lining its cold walls
With a single, bloated fly buzzing about
Broodily beckoning me to ponder
Over how it is any of us come to choose
The room in which we’ll eventually die
And why it is we play at escaping
Into whatever ply of light left available
As our eyes cease to receive it

For whom do we put on that show?
The creep who enjoys wandering aimlessly
Into damp, dingy basements?
Whose pages of depressed scribblings would
At best serve as Kierkegaard’s toilet paper?
Who immediately separates into a figment
Of their own imagination upon catching
Even the slightest whiff of contained decay?

Still, I impress myself when I’m in my tranquil place
Though I will nothing in particular there
I fly through substance, all the same
Darting about from one wall to another
Back and forth; back and forth; back and forth
Feigning agitation at the stress of the air –
But a mere moist becoming beneath my wings
Its weight meaningless, no matter where I land Read the rest of this entry »

It, Alone

This is clearly a new moment
My mind is clear as day
And though it stretches out as long
And far as my eyes can see
I can fathom its depths
Clear ends have left imprints
So heavy and dark
That this light will forever
Be bound by them
And purpose must be
The standard for my action 
If I am not to lose myself
In all the possibility 
Their interplay occasions
I hope you'll stay
Even though I'm crazy
I hope you'll stay
Even though stillness
Never really is what it seems, with me
Because this light is love
And it's warm
And I want to share it without condition





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Copyright Keli Birchfield 2020