Fall 1983 • Vol. V No. 4 Poetry |

Oedipus Exceeding

Finally Oedipus came back. Returned as the old to the ancient. Found a stone and sat down. Blind and blinding. Slowly, people gathered around him, hesitant and horrified. He began. The earth is winnowed, he said. Put through a sieve. It is what happens at the borders. A grinding away. The ocean against the curving shore. Sky against the mountain. Less rock. Fewer trees. A reduction of whatever bulges. A hammering. Almost nothing of it is useful to us. The ocean and sky laboring to make their place. Salt wetness and the storm. If we go forward, we go beyond. If we return to the gentle green center, we come back defeated. We are expected to rejoice and grieve at the same moment. A telling goes on at the border. At the border an intermingling of fish with swallow. Of eagle with hands. I have returned to mix my blood with our earth. Mix myself with what we are not. (His voice in the crowd was like wind blowing the chaff away.) There is a hole in the ground behind this stone,

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