Edward Carlos taught at The University of the South for 36 years, where he organized a county poetry society and an “Art Sanctuary” called IONA, which brought around 90 artists and writers a year to share their creativity with the public. His own artwork titles are versions of haiku. He currently writes for Brent Raynes’ Alternate Perception Magazine online.
Asked why he wrote Breviary, he explains: “The patriarch Moses intrigues me as to his encounter with light on Mount Sinai. Moses was a subject of one of the initial drawings of 48 images begun in 2021, during isolation and since, continuing via the Covid variations. I chose Moses’ event on Sinai to be a significant moment as to Moses’ own encounter with a supernal world. The imagery of facing a deification bringing forth the Ten Commandments was my defining point, a face darkened with ash. I envisioned the various complex levels of encountering the angelic world, with an integration of human life and the implications interwoven between Heaven and Earth, hence the subtitle: “Afoot with Moses.”
Breviary: Afoot With Moses
the host rises before the sun.
shortcuts and midway, like afternoon is a passage
past the light of noon to somewhere else ….
I sense the longing in you, almost an extravagance
so decide to wait until you arrive.
did you promise to return? another incarnation
or was this another necessity? a soaring for purity?
if time is but an oscillation, indiscriminately pounding,
beating in the margin of things, of concepts, is this
space that is the longing
outside of the parameters of words …
a hinge, weaving between dawn and midnight?
too early, for this? matins. four a.m.; six a.m.
are we too late for what might have been – Vespers
am I too easily wrought, showing too much
or do we each search for a memory of flesh
on flesh, flesh in flesh, as it might have been
or if was once? all settles. the verse is hidden
inside an emptiness that gives us pause.
a monstrance composed of stars,
a beautiful rose window who watches with
a concentrated singular eye.
the regard is
waiting, thus, writing
the muscling into a deliverance, because
the body forgets the skeleton within
and we each find a mind forgetting substance
while willing each of us to be unto the other.
the soul, that intransigent depth
at long last what the body bore as wistful,
the foreplay that form is. what we sought
comes forward, shaping the readings.
consciousness becomes the ascending act.
my shoulders press back into the wet sod, into
the smell of green weeds,
an act of prayer
a longing, my way to worship
my thighs thirst, thrusting upward to where words
pause, and lips surrender, and the reach downward is
one of trembling,
to meet trembling
and at the edge of time, when hours
mean little, where space opens as to transcend
that wedge, where moments meet the heft
in this moment,
ecstasy cries out, outward to you –
heard coming from you, a line cast
into the ocean.
the bearing, then, the thrusting, the struggle
pulling, giving in to what is given
as the elastic gods receive you, and you are
open to receive what is a well, a tunnel
into an abyss
you hear the singing in the waters
waves flowing, clouds parting,
mountains heaving, mist rising,
and you see the moon curled within
at the level of a lake landward bound
reflecting beneath the light
a verse to be read, a poem that forms
on the momentary surface, once again
stridently reaching upward as an image
as an embrace of self and the other,
a fetus and your own fetus, each
now circling anew, crying outward, reaching
at the base of night and born of what is.