Alan Reed - photo

And The Grass, It Grows

—with thanks to Madhur Anand

It begins with the sun.

Or it begins elsewhere, earlier, further away, but we will not. We will stay here, we will say it begins with the sun and not the sun but in the sun, in the heart of it, where the entire weight of it settles on itself, the whole unimaginable mass of it that it cannot possibly bear and so it gives. It burns. Under the weight of itself it is destroyed.

Or it is not possible for it to be destroyed. If it is not possible to destroy, if there can only be change.

The weight of the sun becomes light.

The light touches the sky and it turns it to blue or when it touches the sky it is the light that turns to blue, and the sky overhead is no longer an abyss hanging over us. It is something. You lie on your back in the grass and you look up at it and it is something. It is always there, no matter where you are or how far you go it is always still there. Sometimes you think it should be remarkable except that it just is and the grass beneath you is soft, when it is beneath you, and when it is not quite beneath you the ends of it tickle your skin.

You lie in it and you look up at the sky and around you the shoots of grass reach up to the light. The grass drinks it in as if it could be hungry and inside the grass the light becomes matter again. Magic occurs: light becomes sugar and the grass, it grows.

If we could speak of purpose it could be that grass exists to restore the substance light lost to the weight of the sun. But it is not that. Change begets change, that is all. Matter craves it. The light falls on the world and under its touch the world opens, it begins to change. Life begins. And life is change. Relentless, ecstatic, and brutal, life is change.

It is the grass swelling in the light it soaks up. It is you and how you are dying. It is what will come of you when you are dead. It is life tangled up with itself, writhing, with ever new incarnations of itself rising only to be dismembered and devoured then rising again, changed.

It is matter playing with itself, chasing after every visceral delight it can imagine, finding what else it can become.

Alan Reed is the author of two novels, The Benjamenta College of Art (Pedlar Press, 2020) and Isobel & Emile (Coach House Books, 2010), and a collection of poems, For Love of the City (BuschekBooks, 2006). His short work has appeared in MuseMedusa, Vallum Magazine, dANDelion, The Coming Envelope, Performance Research, Kiss Machine, and Papirmass. He lives in Montreal. Find him on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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