Existendencies

I’m accused of believing in deities
like an irrational dummy, while
the material world in every direction
teases our intellects into a
puzzle-solving mania, clamoring
for the victories of knowing
and having known.

Happily, these elaborate conceptions
serve as a handy basis for making
offerings to the deities.

And they do supply the
handholds we’ll need, if we’re
determined to get a grip.

Beyond that, I don’t much bother
with ‘that is’ or ‘this isn’t’
unless I have to.

Every conclusion is a
leaf on the winds of inquiry.

Ephemeral as a raspy little fart.

how galaxies form

Something on the tip
of the universe’s tongue
no more than an unclaimed
memory: a vanished recollection
that picked up a few

carbon atoms, like sticky-burrs
on its pant leg, on the way
through some asteroid belt

where it began to accumulate
the stuff of it, mass, hording
the entire periodic table
and packing every room
to the ceiling with it, no order
to it, no time to sort it out
the spiral arms of a neglected hallway
closet, packed full and slinging
merciless gravity waves

like a kleptomania of the cosmos
or, something else, it’s just on the tip
of everyone’s tongue

Lake After Lake

a lake is just a lake
lakeness is the burden
you carry from lake to lake

(man with a floppy hat
covered in fishing lures
—what will he do next?)

so when you see a lake
you don’t really see a lake
you see lakeness and then say “lake”

(launch the row boat
see the lily pads hoola dance
in its wake)

lakes are empty of lakeness
they’re not even really lakes
they’re just “that”

(a child points and says “that”
it could be anything
—a bullfrog maybe?)

Whistle

the curious idea of
a dream within a dream
occurs to clever thinkers
safely outside of the dream-time conundrum

and fixation requires
a reliable point of reference
or, by golly, we will
panic and make one up

it’s easy to whistle, though
just put your lips together
and blow

Grace Hopper

(An urgent knock at the door. A telegram!)

SIR ​★ ​HOW DO CLOUDS FORM WHEN CLOUDS ARE FORMLESS ​★ ASKING FOR THE SKY ​★ BRILLIANT AND PIERCING BLUE ​★ WHAT ARE FOG BANKS ​★ REPLY WITH PHOTOS ASAP ​★ THERE ARE CHILDREN HERE WHO HAVE NEVER SEEN FOG ​★ WILL YOU SAY THE NAME OF RAIN WHEN THE ROOF GUTTERS SAG ​★ AND THE DOWNSPOUT SHUDDERS WITH A MADDENING NOISE ​★ CAN YOU HEAR THEM ​★ CAN YOU HEAR THE INDIVIDUAL RAINDROPS ​★ RUNNING TOGETHER LIKE WARRIORS OR A LYNCH MOB ​★ LIKE SOAKING WET PEDESTRIANS RUSHING THE SUBWAY STAIRS ​★ AND THEIR FILTHY GLISTENING WET FOOTPRINTS ​★ FORM THE ROSETTA STONE OF OUR OWN MYTH ​★ EXCLAMATION POINT

DOES TIME REALLY PASS ​★ CAN WE LOOK BACK ​★ WILL THE ILLUSION OF RAIN DAMPEN THE LIGHT WE SEE BY ​★ THE VERY LIGHT THAT SHINES ON TIME PASSING ​★ OH HOW OUR OWN MINDS DO FUCK WITH US CEASELESSLY ​★ THE WEST DOES NOT KNOW ​★ THE EAST CANNOT SAY ​★ THESE SCHOLARS WEAVE BASKETS IN THE SUN ​★ AND REPORT EACH DAY AT FIVE ​★ TO THE BARRACKS FOR THEIR WHIPPING ​★ ABANDONED BIRD CAGES LITTER THE STREETS ​★ LIKE BRITTLE CHRISTMAS TREES IN JANUARY ​★ LETS ALL LOVE FOR THE SAKE OF LOVE ​★ WITH THESE CLOCKS AND CALENDARS ​★ LIKE PEEPING TOMS LEERING AT OUR WINDOWS

GRACE HOPPER WITH YOUR NANOSECONDS ​★ BEAT THE LIVING TIME OUT OF THESE MOMENTS WITH YOUR NANOSECONDS ​★ YOU STARK RAVING ORIGINAL ​★ NONE WILL TURN IN THEIR GRAVE WHO TURN IN LIFE ​★ WHO TURN IN LIGHT ​★ MAY FATE AND GRACE PRESERVE YOU ​★ THE LIGHT ​OF DAYS ​★ THE FOOLISH HOPES ​★ THE LOSS AND GAIN ​★ THIS PRECIOUS SELF A TRINKET IN THE YARD SALE OF THE DHARMAKAYA ​★ THERES NO GETTING OFF IT SO LETS GET ON ​★ START THE WORLD WE WANT TO GET ON ​★ THE GONG STRIKE SETS THE TONE ​★ LET THE BUSTLE FLICKER ON YOUR SCREEN ​★ SUSTAIN AND RELAX INTO SILENCE

STRONG LETTER FOLLOWS ​★ FULL STOP