Brian Turner – The Visions

Brian Turner

The Visions

            If I took LSD, I’d be talking to every blade of grass, like Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!
                                     —Robin Williams

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling sound, 
not exactly from the outside in, but feeling it 
within the very core of my body, the body 
signaled to perceive it this way, rather than
given waves pulsing through the fluid medium
of a body in space. Of course I’m talking about
the synaptic gap, neurotransmitters with a cargo
of fire, electrical impulses, sense data streaming
across the ancient hemispheres of the brain.
I’m talking about the confusion there, that
switch, so that a visual signal might be 
crossed up and sent into regions of the mind 
where the color green tastes like lemon
sweetened by sugar, where we might hear
our lover’s bodies by touch, that brushing
of skin on skin like tiny little bells, trembling.

I’m talking about the intoxicating pull of such things.
The way Dock Ellis took to the mound in 1970
and we can’t stop thinking about it, how he threw
a no-hitter on acid, the 60’6” span tilled with furrows,
the infield grass split open in lanes of clodded dirt 
which he used as tracks, visual lanes for a fastball
or a slider, inside corner, outside corner, the man
painting the box over the course of the game, 
the ball itself burning as it flew from his hand, smoke
trailing in its wake, the batter so difficult to see,
so far away, and the catcher signaling with tape 
on his fingers like a flaring of lights in a storm, 
a kind of morse code they shared, pitch by pitch.
It was June 12, 1970. Jimi and Janis had a few months
left to live, with Morrison dying the following summer,
with all that they might have done vanishing
into the ether, etched into the stones at their graves.
There’s something about genius and art I’m thinking of
here. Something about vision, the many ways of seeing. 
It’s the pull of the mind toward experiencing it all
in ways that might elevate the profound, the ballfield
come alive once more, the dull repetition of days
ignited right in front of us, the game retextured, renewed
through a switching of signals, a blending of senses, 
the crowd become a forest of delight, cheering. 
Or is it all just candy, sweet little drops of candy? 

I’m talking about the profound all around us. 
Every moment. That we need nothing to intercede
on our behalf. We need no separation of the mind
from the body, no altering of ourselves through a fuel
meant to burn us into a blinding light, so that others
might see the world right in front of them, and 
so that we might see that world, too. This much
is true. But I’d be lying if I dismissed the experience. 
I’ve held it in my own body. I’ve tasted it on my tongue.
I have fashioned my body into a lover’s bell 
and thrummed within a chorus of souls. 
I have been a witness to the winged flyers
trailing smoke over the midnight waters of my life. 
And I have watched them disappear, one by one, 
those sweet little notes made of flame, the way 
they dive headlong into those waters, into that old river
where the boatman rows his way to us all. 

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