"Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance...."
Somewhere inside a cold day
Under the big, cold mountains
Professors gather to debate
The world going on without them,
And successfully, strenuously
Reach no actionable conclusion,
But to anxiously, contentiously
Frame their own debate as delusion
And adjourn for the rest of the year
Amid laughter, consolations, tension
And the usual professorial fears
Mixed of desolation and self-deprecation.
Returning to classes, offices, homes,
They carry out internal revisions
Of the one common human poem,
The verse of eternal decision
That writhes in the coiled neocortex
Reversing, turning, counter-turning,
Never to rest or stand. At her desk,
The dance professor sits, relearning
Where her agile body fits her mind.
In the stairwell the psychologist
Whistles an effortful, grunting rhyme
As he ascends and gravity resists,
While the elderly archaeologist
Quarrels with a memory
Written on one wrist
In spidery ball-point summary
Detailing something insightful
About the origin of sin
In the Pleistocene symbols
From which all nonsense stems.
The mountains grow dark.
The campus, muttering, splatters light
In a broken, moon-shaped arc
Around the drowning lake of night.