Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Lines Between Lines Beyond

~Your Paths Led Here

All of them. Always. Driven
Through the night sky by the wind.

On the water. Overland.
Not intending to arrive.

A room could hold far travel.
A cave. A bed. Crania.

Wake up. Your paths have led here.
Look back. The paths are changing—

No intention to arrive—
To lead to what keeps changing

Such as hunger as a fact.
Such as never going back.

Nothing you experience
Ever goes exactly back.

~Antinomy in Antimony

Behind my raccoon-like eyes
Peering from far mining towns,
Middle of nowhere, Utah,

Potential infinities
Keep intuition churning
Through provincial vortices—

May the part have the power
Of the whole? May the longer
Line contain not one more point

Than the shorter? If so, then
What lies between and what lies
Beyond? Time is essential

To one camp of accountants.
Time does not exist, insists
A mass of cosmologists.

Maybe kohl holds so much lead
Thought grows intoxicating
Among these desert hermits—

Or maybe it made our eyes
Freer of free-rider germs
Nearer muddy reservoirs.

Fog upon fog. Unity
Sounds ethical, noble, but
Twoity ridiculous,

And yet my addled instincts
Tend to the duplicitous—
Math begun in perception

Of the difference that changes
Again and again, tricky
Twoness, like a pair of eyes,

What we can see of the world.
Digital orthography
Jumps around analogy—

If the word all is to be
Used at all, we need to see
Beyond continuity

And discontinuity
To—what? Not unity, not 
Twoity, antinomies 

Of Antimony. There is
No good name for what we know—
Continuous disruption,

Smoothly fractured history.
We try anyway. Language
Both our digits and the moon.

Coyote was a good name
For a town in this country.
Catch a few coyote pups—

Call it a place. The miners
Should have left it Coyote—
Character testimony.

Antimony. Tricky words.
Antinomy. Free riders
On the windblown desert waves.

~The Law of the Exclusive Middle

In the middle of true and false
The whole world naps in a hammock
A fracture sleeping in a sling
To heal, to never be the same

Bivalent proposition knots
Tie the hammock to twin pillars
One called knowledge, the other life
Large and shady and suspicious 

I suspect neither one exists
In the discrete sense naming gives
But if either one is cut down
Or shaken too hard the world slips

No, we don’t want the world to slip
Experience is hard enough
The shocks that make us break in two
That make us see the world in two

Here, fold this blanket in your past
It will keep you warm while you heal
You were only ever middle
Gravity, absence, stars, and you

~Devotional Nihilism

Faiths have been constructing gods
From nothing for so long now

Names too sacred to pronounce
I figured, hell, might as well

Go all out, go whole hog treat
Nothing as the name of God

~Anticipation Recollected in Tranquility 

I have a proposition—
Call it radical, goofy,
Counterintuitive, daft,

Ignorant, arrogant, weird,
Or ignore me completely—
The future does not exist.

The future will not exist.
Future never existed
Beyond our ideas of it,

One of our human notions
Evolved from adaptations
Serving animal functions,

Such as the capacity
To anticipate changes
Based on patterns of changes,

A workaround for the lag 
Between sensing, processing,
And reacting to changes—

Always already happened—
Which resemble what happened
On previous occasions,

Instincts elaborated
Over the generations
Of ancestral languages

Into tensed syntax, stories
Projecting the past forward,
Divinations, predictions,

Armories of orreries,
Star charts, armillary spheres,
Computer simulations.

We’re good at predicting things,
Great at predicting some things.
But none of it’s the future.

The past is never the same,
Not instantaneously,
And must be constantly scanned,

But there’s no future in it.
Of all of our fantasies
Of magic and deities,

Monsters, fairies, aliens,
Worlds in other galaxies,
Our own immortality,

No bubble is emptier
Than our cosmos of future.
What is is always what was—

Insofar as anything
Has any reality
The future doesn’t. You’ll see.

~To Face the Blank Notebook

Is there anything we know
For certain? That’s the alpha
And omega for the sage.

Well, then. I don’t think I am.
Right in the middle for me,
Muddle in the middle me.

You laugh. Shrug. Smirk. Roll your eyes.
But how do you know I am?
Why do I pretend you care?

I’m reasonably certain
That ideas thread tapestry
Through fingers they leave behind.

I’m reasonably certain
That language, that words, like these,
Live there, and you among them.

But this is all long done now.
I used to collect notebooks,
Habit close to addiction.

I still get a bit twitchy
Near racks of stationery,
Blank daybooks, journals, moleskins.

But the blank is perfection,
And my notes were corruption.
I failed and began again,

Until I had shelves of them,
The sullied and the pristine.
I felt safer on napkins,

Envelopes, tickets, receipts,
Backs of old photocopies
From forgotten class sessions,

Or on the weird palimpsests 
Of glowing, smirking screens built
From glass, carbon composites,

Whole periodic tables
Of rare and heavy metals.
How was paper more precious?

Too easy to mess, I guess.
No, I am damned if I face
A blank notebook. I am not

Certain of anything yet,
Not when the world hides itself
As itself and then changes

Back into itself again,
So that what I was I am,
Engine centered in engines.

~The Disheveled Angels of Revelation 

There’s never just one butterfly.
Who knows which wings tipped the sequence
That led us to the hurricane,
Butterflies crushed against downed trees?

We are most impressed by knowledge
Of methods we don’t understand.
It’s what keeps mysticism, faith,
And revelation in the game,

Although math almost always wins.
We are a world always ready
For harvesting. Visions and proofs,
Sickles and scythes, reapers with wings.

~Prediction Horizon

Time without cause. Fantasy,
Dread, and the future, those three
Pathogens of calm moments,

Those wraiths—They’re not in the wind,
Not even in the chorus
Of canyon katabatics

And the short-lived waterfalls
That together form one voice
On a wet spring afternoon

When no one is up this high
Where the snow still mixes in
With the waterfalls and wind.

An honest, shushing chorus,
A breathing without language
Without any thoughts at all,

Is welcome at any time,
Always welcome in the mind
That thinks through time without cause.

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