Push back, push back in time, until
knowledge is scant enough to fill
the poet’s mind. Soft-bodied forms
burrow in slime: their trace, my thrill.
After Plutarch’s “Life of Theseus“
Both mourning, and gloom,
skulk at the tomb
killed by her womb.
For Morton Feldman
A glacier chokes the mountain, claws
clutching the hapless peak. It gnaws
the summit to nothing, levels it
utterly. Feldman, too, makes flaws.
Laocoön, were he not slain,
would have exposed the horse, the pain
its belly hid. The sacrifice
of Sinon would delight the gods again.
The same Idea exalts conversation with a stranger. We talk better than we are wont. We have no obstructions. […] But as soon as the stranger begins to intrude his partialities, his definitions, his defects into the conversation, it is all over. He has heard the first, last, & best he will ever hear from us. He is no stranger now. Vulgarity, ignorance, misapprehension, are old acquaintances. Now when he comes he may get the order, the dress, & the dinner, but the throbbing of the heart & the communications of the soul, no more. (R. Waldo Emerson, Journal D)
The table hums with talk, live to the thought
of strange ears listening in. He spoke not
a word, the Stranger. He was silent as
the void, afraid to spoil that he wrought.