Monday, December 18, 2006

for Epimetheus

To a God, what’s potential is most alive.
Re-forming, re-writing scripture,
the possible and the probable writhing
dragon and tiger in the high temples.
That valley of ten-thousand things is alive,
real and so dissolute.

When the treeline finally collapses,
and your idylls expire,
the last thing out of Pandora's pithos
will be the first thing entering a dead man's heart.

Just Hope’s gesture casts the world
in flecks of vermilion on the landscape.
Rodin leads out a bronze burgher’s chin
and in dim and sooty lamp light
we find "The Potato Eaters."

But you remember:
Sheltered in a copse of slowing heartbeats,
after the acrid escape of every ill into existence,
a stunned and foolish girl leaned in to look.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Who is it that changes Enzo's mind?

Enzo was sad yesterday; too many people like to talk to him. Enzo is very nice to everyone, brothers and co-workers who need to know the small pieces of math that Enzo knows, and chips and bits of tomorrow that Enzo has found out. Some people just want to talk to Enzo about the other people Enzo talks to, and that takes tight-rope walking.

The puzzle is keeping the math and chips and bits in order while talking to everyone. One time, in a Nature Magazine, Enzo read about the monkeys that can keep their family connections straight through five and more generations. Sometimes Enzo wished he could be one of those monkeys. His memory was so full of the pieces of math and chips and bits of tomorrow, and the long line of people he talked to, that it got crowded.

And the crowding made Enzo nervous, because of the tight-rope, and the nervous made Enzo forget. And when Enzo forgot, he got sad and missed the old, young Enzo that didn’t have all the math and chips clouding and crowding his head. Enzo wanted to wake up some morning and feel clear, like his entire monkey relatives were in order.

Enzo slipped yesterday, at the end, during the last of the day’s conversation, and said to someone, “I must go, I am tired and this tight-rope is too narrow.” As soon as it came out, Enzo was startled, too startled to answer the question, a reasonable one: “What tight-rope, Enzo?” He just said goodbye. And wondered what he meant.

And at night, when Enzo was sleeping, when there was no math or tomorrow, and his relations fit just so, the tight-rope became a net. That was all. It was nothing like a nightmare; or the dream of being chased; or the dream of walking through mud.

The tight-rope Enzo always felt under him is now a net, still connected to his brothers and co-workers. Enzo still has to walk carefully, but he has always enjoyed that. He feels that somehow, each conversation is connected to the others, and there is a very clear path from person to person. And even though there seems to be a lot more rope, the distance is clearer, and now the crowding is gone, like the inside of a crystal, which as we know, is full of math.

Enzo is here today. The old, young Enzo seems to be back, but there is also connection to the Enzo of yesterday. And that Enzo is so clearly make-believe, that today Enzo will find himself doing the math of phantoms, and collecting the day as it happens.