…but there is only time for fasting and desire, device and
design, there is only time to swerve without limbs, organs or face
scientific silence, pinhole of light
Chronology is a field of stars.
The mythologue’s statistics
a zodiacal map, a glowing quotient
taking shape. You know you’re old
when you scrapbook the car crash
as a locus on a line of best fit. What of
the screams, quick yips of coydogs
killing deer? That pit in the sidewalk
a girl’s head bled into.
Once upon a Thracian coast
lover followed lover through
the gates of hell, and that,
dear reader, is why we have music.
In alternate versions, Orpheus,
more in love as he was with his art
than his wife, refused to drink the hemlock
or hurl from lovers’ leap his lutic
body. The moral is creation
is half grief. And that, dear reader,
is why we have music.
A scientist walks into a bar,
orders a libation, neat, with a twist.
A mythmaker walks in, orders nothing
but a glass. “Won’t you drink?”
asks the scientist, but the mythmaker
points to his highball, replies,
“Look at what is absent.”
Says Carl Sagan: “I know.”
The last time you drove this car you had to crawl
out of it. Eighty-degree turn with the tongue licking fifty
and heap of windfall on the shoulder. Your terror
braked on the black ice that winter, or you braked
and your terror kept you spinning, or Orpheus spun out
his grief in song and you caught a strain that day,
ringing. It’s not a trope you know, why your head struck the wheel
in the same eye you’d blinded, or blood in the snowbank
metastasized into a gloaming. Theology: the science
of symmetry, the orrery turning in the heart.
Of all the tracks on this album,
“Canyon River” is the most soporific
for victims of accidents, according to a new
study in psychoacoustics. During triage,
you feel seasick. Remember your body
is all tight geometry, soffits and tesseracts,
no light. In your chest a small
hydraulic and two pistons of abeyant
breastmilk. In your throat a lyre,
a nascent lie.
Troxler’s fading happens even to stars.
Say December thirteenth is the arrowhead
until another girl bleeds a whole archer
on an April night. You find yourself with her head
in your lap, bleeding in your lap,
pleading with her to give your life back.
At home, your lover washes your legs
under the tap.
“If you tell me how stars are made
I promise not to make my own” is a lie.
The poet found his way through hell
by the laws of cartoon physics.
When he saw his wife, she was staring
at the moon from the bottom of a bowl
in which the moon was floating.
She lit her eyes on him and the whole
astrarium stopped turning.
There were no words but he insisted—
“lampshell, lampshell, lampshell.”
Futurology: the study of the study
of the past. In our room, there is an eggshaped
fossil and a toy snail suctioned
to the wall. A braid of pink ribbons,
our bodies through the window. How will this,
when it is gone, cast itself against its absence?
This node here is the year two thousand
eleven. This coordinate, this series of ones.
See how frighteningly bright? The crystal
in the gray geodic mass of those years,
the lodestar at the corner of the virgo’s eye.
Or a pale spark in the pointillated dark.