Monday, October 21, 2019

What Is Better

The game whose rules are unknown
Beyond uncounted guesses,
The knowledge broken . . .


It hints at something
That a general

Is reliably
A better bet than
A radical difference,

That there are more ways to be
Almost exactly the same
Than to be very much changed,

That the world seems determined
To explore exhaustively
Every last similarity.

But what it hints at
Is inscrutable as waves,
Horizon to horizon . . .


The great work of nothing much,
The great spirit of the plants
That will make you like Itself,

Whispers in the windy trees,
If you let me lie to you,
I promise you enough truth

Will go rustling through these woods
That you’ll be glad you listened.
Now, pay attention when you can.


The forest of influences
Considers causality
And comes to no conclusion.

When it comes to it,
The forest of influences
Can neither cause nor conclude.

What then is an influence?
Only a past prediction.
Things go together.

Always joined tightly
Are mistaken for causes,

The earlier influence
On the latter,
So the forest grows larger,

But should it be called
The forest of confluences,
Or ramifying river,

Where everything drifts apart
And branches until
Nothing much comes together?


In the dark palace,
The motions reverse.
Lights run backwards through the halls.

A poem can do whatever
Language can do, and is not
Restricted by character,

Plausibility, or truth.
Thought lies before and after
What language and poetry

Can do, and there will be thought
That exists outside
Of any actual poem,

But that leaves a lot of room
For the lights of poetry
To play through thought’s dark palace.


Saint Clarity: the whole time
Of continuous changing
That I sat by the waters

Rushing down to join
The Santa Clara,
The sun was rising higher,

Illustrating why Einstein,
Like so many before him,
Was seduced by the subtle,

Scalloped symmetries
Of geometry,
The math that time cannot move,

Font and origin of proof,
Of perfection, of the curve
As preexisting

The changes tracing its routes.
I left before it could fall
The whole of the afternoon.


I can’t stand long, by nature,
But I intend to stand here
As long as I can stand it.

Going round, merely going
Round, however redundant,
Is never the same,

Is always going.
Merely standing, finally,
Is going, eh, old planet?

Once, circular time
And linear change were lovers,
Not knowing they were

Sister and brother, bastards,
Both of them, one and the same.
Every morning, every night,

In the deep woods, they embraced,
And each became the other.
The final good is going.

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