Part XI  



Red failed. Blue indigo and violet

The night came down. Uninsulated, I

Stood stiff on surface creaking like a boat

In murky dusk. Air took on graininess.

Through tidal time I waited, watching things

Luxuriate and wade in shallow darks,

Cloud over slowly: blurring, details lost,

Like an old pane written on by Frost




  790   With homely characters that melt away,

Blending the structure of the Milky Way

With flawed glass: barred spiral galaxy,

Ocean on edge, phosphorescent sea

In which a greenish particle is lost

In a rush of substances: trace mineral;

Nightwash; cosmic tide; some sparkling foam

Aquiver on an insubstantial beach.

But going somewhere. Why else all lit up

Like a tractor-trailer in the passing lane


Part I   Notes I
Part II
Notes II
Part III
Notes III
Part IV
   Notes IV
Part V
   Notes V
Part VI
   Notes VI
Part VII
   Notes VII
   Notes VIII
Part IX
   Notes IX
Part X
   Notes X
Part XI
   Notes XI
Part XII
   Notes XII

©, Acknowledgments
The Author


Gearing along a midnight Interstate?

SPACERQuasar synapses?--God's brain bristling?

SPACERA punctured film? Salt handfuls cast on ice?

SPACERA trillion-and-one reasons to be free?

SPACERSurrounding Nothing like the voided time

Before and after life? The barn was dark.

Big bang: slow fireworks die in the sky

Across all time, before all history

And after: cold, colder.
Through stern space

Transition and translation, dark on dark:


Dark matter, dark baryons,

Dark halo around our galaxy,

Much darker than the lake's rimed blacknesses,

The photographic negative of ice

Just barely seen, downhill, through distant trees

Passed through before, on early wanderings--

SPACERPlates shift. The heavens tilt, a flooding dark.

Just looking up, you crowd with distances:

The Great Bear turning in a field

Like black water moving under ice...


Wobbling, wobbling like a shaky wheel

On a long haul, every galaxy,

Each dislocation is an answer: force

Obeying force (big chess game; brilliant play).

No: language. I glanced into a text

With every period present, bright and faint,

The Northern Anthology of Everything.

Each word of ancient light, long-traveling,

Physics its grammar, seemed to be arrayed

In spectral sentences, to form a code





Of being's rhetoric; the highest style.

Through icy dark, it sparkled like the new

Asphalt in a city parking lot

(Of smoldering anthracite, of smoking cold)

Between two sootstreaked buildings; only one

Light on: night-watcher reading in a chair.

SPACERI skimmed across the north, and trailed off with

The vast ellipsis of Orion's belt...

(Orion the Hunter boasted he would kill

Every animal in the whole world's





Shadowed woods: he sank into the sky's

Black winter; froze; few chips of glitter left.)

As in a darkness glassily I saw

A VVILD AM: IKON ORB prefiguringAsterisk

Chiaroscuro, lunar lucency

Of ice and shiver, self and rushing sky:

My poem, your lake, both waited for a bare

Bold glow to rise and light this zero O.Asterisk

SPACERDark ice widened under moonless clouds

Of moving mind: branches, dominant,





Only negated dimly at each edge.

Stars prickled (universal goosefleshing)

As a pale flag of moon slowly rose,

Leaving the brambles, wet, its mica grays

Split by a few twigs. Here I reflected on

Opaque inflections of the moonburned pond,

Where ice's darkling luster drained away

Except within my outline on the page;

Its moondial wakened. Gnomon's shadow (mine)Asterisk

Crept eerily. The vigil went awry:





The færie play of clouds revealed and hid

A dripping moon, white sliver of new ice

(Or mystic ball of dull, bombarded rock).

In bell-cold air, unclappered, soundlessly

the dim derivative

Pond received the moonlight's stolen glow

And gave its borrowed glamour--crackle--time.

Who's there? No answer. Are you there? Wet wind.





     Part X       Part XII