Friday, July 10, 2020


To avoid being misled
By similitude, sober
Judgment prefers to divide

The world, sorting its laundry
Into neatly folded piles
That fit in familiar drawers.

That the drawers will not stay shut,
The piles neat, the items clean,
Should go without saying, but

Life is maintenance, and we
All are the heirs of parents
And parent species who thrived

On separating the world
Efficiently, tidily,
Into resources and waste.

Nonetheless, sometimes, true wit
Consists in the holistic
Step back to view the process

Capaciously but contained,
Life not as maintained, tidied,
But heaps of experience,

Whole hampers of used linens,
Adventures and accidents
And non-events in one pile,

The way bibliographers
Sum up one work’s editions,
Versions, and performances

In all instantiations
As one “superwork.” The whole
Is still a separation—

Even a heap of sweepings
Is the result of effort
To gather and consider

What had been widely scattered.
(Heraclitus doesn’t get
Investigated enough

For suggesting the cosmos
We know has been regathered,
Ready to be disposed of.)

Lovers of similitude,
The disparate, the disjoint,
And incommensurable

Pulled together, little worlds
Of scatter, whole, these turned-out
Pockets of a childish God,

Are not too foolish to know
We’re collecting twigs and dust—
We also catch what’s wondrous.

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