Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Pallid Blue Quartet

An Expanse of Sea Is Mostly Dabs of Blue

Dreams aren’t imagination.
Dreams are far more destructive.

Ask your sleeping hours. They’ll tell
How dreams break memories

Down to recyclable bits—
Pellets, cardboard, powder, ghosts—

Or dump them in steaming heaps
The screaming seagulls circle.

Waking is reclamation,
The Freshkills Park of day.

The quieter birds return.
Sun is winking on the bay.


Blue Woad, Indigo, Dead Blue, Haint Blue

The plants the peoples used to show
What kind of people they could be
Have mostly fallen in disuse.

Colors are for factories, now.
Beside what we have synthesized,
The rest of the world seems dimmed.

I still like to look at the skies
On cloudless days, no jets in sight.
Who am I, eh? Dead blue, alright.


Blue Jargoon

Humans are a matter of opinion,
A matter of taste, even to ourselves.

Do we like us? Like us who? Name your hue,
The name you would be proud to claim. Or name

The completely fictional entity
Of a particular state or kingdom,

The mother land, the father land, your land.
If you show me your flag, I’ll wave back mine—

Then we’ll know who’s human and who likes who.
You’re suspicious of this? Of me? Me, too.


Not Quite White All Afternoon

You can look it up easily, these days—
The Proto-Indo-European *bhel,

Suggesting something shining, bright, and white,
Somehow gave rise to the English color

Terms for both yellow and blue. Primary
Colors, equally, but on the spectrum

Not a lot in common—not as wavelengths,
And not in terms of cultural baggage.

Squint at the sky and wonder—given all
We’ve done and will soon do to each other,

Given the limited capacity
Of the world, except through us, to wonder—

Do you think it was inevitable
That some people, culture, or another

Would look at the sky between plagues and wars
On brilliant, early autumn afternoons

And see the bright white, the gold, and the blue
All bells, chiming notion, and confuse them?

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