Monday, January 11, 2021

Significance Is Spooky

All our future calendars exist
Already, in the past. We made them.
They’ve been made. Death startles us, but
We’re not surprised. Calendars warned us.

All the signs warned us. Signifying
Inhabits us. Significance
Haunts all our days. Explanation is
Obligatory for us. The stars

Must have stories. That band in the sky
Could be the embers of a campfire.
Together, our lives host languages.
Languages themselves are only hosts.

Well, not only. Urns of the spooky
Ashes that lack material being
Of their own, embodied not bodies,
Instantiated not instances,

Not flesh or sign, significances,
What in this language we name meanings,
But not the name, what the name conjures
In the right combination of thought,

Of humans’ lived experiences,
Communications, cultures, and brains,
In none of these without the others,
An existence so mysterious

That phenomena it can measure
Join in it with what cannot be touched
In one meaningful menagerie—
Daylight, heat, time, calendars, futures,

God, soul, ether, magnificence, fate,
All the meaningful things that exist
For us only, sheer significance.
This is the three in one, the lichen

Composed of one algal, two fungal
Organisms at once, but even
That’s too tame a system. Imagine
A compound, moving organism,

Like any animal, infested
And supported by the usual
Interdependencies of microbes,
Ingesting food and excreting waste,

Possessed of a signaling system,
Common enough among animals,
But now somehow entangled in that,
In its own communications, lost

In exactly what you are doing
This instant if you know this language,
You beast, you inheritor of signs,
You who, in the waltz of both, now mean.

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