The Hunter by Albert Kowalski (1818)
is a catastrophic underscoring
to the overall sensual distillation
the skull on a hinge.
It makes trite the profound
and makes profound
the obscure, leaving us,
the innocent bystander,
bereft of a meaningful opinion,
content to stand candlestick-
still, buoyant on the air like
the gossip of nightingales
cohered into cowardice’s own
burned at both charred ends
and set to flicker in the wind.
is the light of this candle,
dancing its clumsy linguistic
dance across the floor hardwood
floor, dappling in time,
alone in all the corners;
is waiting for the breeze to pick up
and the dual flames of color
to be silently extinguished,
into those thin twists of smoke
that sting the chandelier.
"There’s something to be said
about pushing through til dawn,”
says the Ant to Aesop’s brother,
tracing a circuit of biological sinews
on the floor of God’s own forest.
The latter stops to ponder this
just as the whistling of certain predators
descends on so many green things below,
and in a panic Ant drops the grain
he was carrying, picks it back up
as he tries to remember
what he was about to add,
an addendum to the original brilliance;
trying to remember
what hyperbolic burden of thought
he was almost able to express
in the fabled clicking language of his species.
Have you ever wondered, really pondered
why your hands itch like that?
Suffer, suffer like
backbroken piles of trash,
the kind they burn on sidewalks
in urban Nicaragua? No?
We spin in the unbearable,
die twisted in the predictable.
A reaction, a response, something involuntary
provoked by late-summer rains
chaotic bleeding weather
that we’ve always blamed
for our own
And just for the record, if you don’t like Phish, just…
After spinning for so long,
around and around
centrifugal sounds to pulse
like a poem
I couldn’t help but feel
myself being reshaped,
tugged, twisted, maybe
molded by hands far larger
than my own
to bend my spine arrow-
straight and pull
my head off like a
thumbtack and leave it
there in the
space above my
into me, my inevitable I.
Ironically, I write pretty happy music. I prefer it that way.
The carnation reds and cumulus whites will necessarily fade, not into grays and blues and blacks like our poets would lead us to believe, but first into their respective and inherent wavelengths, simple vibrations, and then pulses, vibrations that lack no continuity, and then creation’s most basic broken tones, firsts and fifths, to gradually soften through all of our most precious modes, softening in duration and volume across the echoless plain of empty space, a place neither black nor dark, just empty, empty in such a base and offensive way that our minds of meat and substance refuse to accept this non-dimension as quickly as the 4th, or the 3rd to the citizens of Flatland, that damnable arena.
And so, as you lose yourself in the quickness of worms’ simple miracle of writhing to the surface, a fine enough thing to consume your magnificent wholeness, try to keep in the back of your thoughts, ticking ubiquitously like an arrogant clock, or the notes that beat out the heart of the universe, the knowledge, and the power in that knowledge, that this too shall pass, that we do not have to be slaves to our fascinations, we are not obligated to anything but death, and he is so infamously gentle, so necessarily kind.
And so there we were,
caught in the rubble
that used to be
the upright walls of the house
before time and emotionless circumstance
trapped us here, defiant,
scratching and scratching and kicking and screaming
to maybe just move the slightest weight,
some minutiae of brick and mortar
from off our chests
and onto something else,
so that we could spend
our apparently final moments
breathing at least a little freely,
isn’t that all you’ve ever wanted?
Black is the presence of white
in all its various shades
contained within the two-dimensions
of a boundless blank canvas,
the compression of something
into an impossibly dense singularity,
the spark of a thought, bright enough
to flicker across the saltflats of the mind,
a barren place
where nothing grows.