Return to Poetry – General Audience


and we continue our journey past the Saul in the night
who pretends to be Mr. Kronecker who sees infinity for
what it is but no more about that for now. walk onward
as the night people do and you will see a naked manhole
cover trembling as a truck grimaces by, cold steam rising
from its seams. things get smaller as you leave them behind.
head towards the water, dark tea cold and oversteeped the
bag broken and its contents roiling in the luscious deep. no
mention of sugar in its creamy blackness. the giddy feel of
dockworks wood ever damp over air under air sliced through
with air suspended over water vibrating with each footfall
is heaven a plank like this? its music too many octaves lower
than mourning to be heard resonates this foot then that foot
then this foot then that foot then this foot

a smooth round bolthead slips slightly as it presses up into
the crook between the balls of a left foot invoking pleasure
in the gut somewhere corresponding. as if the cold did not
lurk in the salty air, as if weather by the sea calibrates itself
to human tolerances, as if the moon existed here.

the end of the dock, a thick rope knot its tock missing its tick,
half-keeping time half-mocking it, all you can do is turn
around and see the steam rising from the tiny manhole far
back where the dark is brighter than here so tiny now, like a string
of dense toxic smoke from a fresh solder join of a capacitor to
the control board on which we wander, in which our role is to
provide electrical resistance
meaning calm.

i hear the soft guffaw of unseen Chinese paper lanterns pretending
to be bells, do you hear it? in the middle ages someone invented
paper currency to slicken the burgeoning trade between the north
and south of China but the experiment only went well for a hundred
years or so before it gave way to older technology, silver, the broken clay
tablet, the handcrafted personal seal and in the West centuries later someone
reinvented paper bills and now they give way to silicon, encryption
algorithms that mimic the jagged edges of broken clay, the inscrutable
peculiarities of a grainy red stamp, and the ocean consumes everything
does it not, consumes history, creates time itself like an atmospheric
gas to be belched forth from, evaporated off of, cooked out of the sea’s
infinite dimensions up into the sky’s lily one.

fold your hands like the sages do, for it only makes you hungry to be

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