Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Aesop's Academic Synonyms for Acedia

"To be sullen in the sweet air is the sin of acedia."

1. The Turtle's Deliquescent Dive

It really is, so far as we know, turtles
All the way down. Demonstrate the difference
Between turtles and any phase shift they missed
Between shells and stubby tails and leathern feet.
Here, psychology ends and biology
Begins; here biology ends, chemistry
Begins; here chemistry finishes, physics
Takes over, and here there be monsters, the end.

You don't think so? What does anything rest on?
What does everything rest on? What is the rest?
Guess. Lacustrine, glittering guesses are best.

2. The Camel's Otiose Tourist

"I dare say you wish to know
How the Plague is going on
At Cairo?" Oh yes, I wish
So devoutly to be told
How the latest tarot pull
Might affect me in Cairo.
Go away. Stop reminding me

So much of my silly self.
It's not that I wish to be
Any other beast than you
Or me. I'm only so tired
Of being a beast at all,
Weary as I live and breathe
Of speaking as you to me.

3. The Word Mule in the Bureau of Homeland Torpidity

Information is not intrinsically
About anything. I misquote of course,
Which is the braying idiot's license.

Real poets are more rigorous. They learn
To disrespect physicists, the atoms
Of Democritus, without relying

On gibberish cribbed from their disrespect.
Illegal, border-slipping, mule poets
Smuggle others' notions in their phrasings,

As if a poem could embody insight
The way equations model mystery.
But there are worse things to be than a mule.

Personally, I pity the strata
Compressed in arabesques of deception,
As if the rocks that layer the fossils

Had any choice in what they collected
From the past for some future eureka.
It's true, I may have to apply myself

To the fierce bureaucracy of language,
Begging admittance past the gates of scorn,
Putting up with armed puns that accost me,

But at least I'm permitted to apply.
And the reward is always a surprise,
The night sight of thought's guardian angels

Struggling up the wall of the universe,
Overloaded and exasperated
By the weight of patrolling beasts' parole.

4.  Toad's Last Estivation Dream

One is always the most impressed
By someone else who is doing
Cheerfully and well whatever
One least wants to do at all. Oh,
To be turtle, weight of the world
Of turtles on my shoulders. Oh,
To be sullen in the sweet air!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.