Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From 8 Equations

7. Platonic Tragedies & Top Ten I'm Sorrys
In a "Brief History of Glass"
In the Advent of a Water Landing
this Poem May be Used as a Floatation Device

by J. R. Pearson

Let's go way back. Back past mathematics’
knuckle-fucked abacus & Euclidian misnomers.
Back to Plato's top two
ways to succeed in tragedy:
one: kill the victim & everyone he knows
two: kill the victim several times until
he forgets he's dead
Implied lines of evidence for rational behavior in complex social settings?
Act like men grow handcuffs in the earth's womb.
Pretend tempers are buried in dynamite.
Furrowed brows made from nitroglycerin, finely molded
& set firmly between two lit corneas.
Freeze! Act natural. Move slow
like nothing matters except what fills
your empty hand at said moment:
Gun folded into the flick of a finger:
Daggers spent with the lick of the lips.
13 codas with a blade playing backup.
Sphinx-mouthed & waiting. It's always the waiting--
Spartans knew the External Principal
of Practical Ahimsa: the only real victim is yourself!
All this & who knew a Geiger counter blitzes
a finger at thoughts of plutonium tangled in amino acids.
It's 2000 ways not to build a lightbulb &
a killingwave unwound in a wind of RNA
that rises like a bleach tomb hung
up by its hind heel in sky stripped to the bone.
There's no geometric formula for the point
where two bodies touch.
But let's count anyway: all things equal
touch lips just in case:
run fingers over skin ponds cut cleanly at the damp edge:
scratch the march of long whistles
in the stained-black dream warped & turning on a gramophone: lifts
like madness shed by a twist in the heat:
opens the drawer of earth
beneath your grave:
I'm sorry. I mistook you for the moon
I'm sorry. Your proteins don't fold properly
I'm sorry. I wrote you a message on the galactic
arm; Alpha Centari is the period.
I'm sorry. You were born in a nebula; fell to earth in a flame.
I'm sorry. I thought I heard your wings whistle in a drawn-back sky.
I'm sorry. Your tongue keeps hammering me.
I'm sorry. I read your heart thru
an open wound.
I'm sorry. Sacred incantatory sweat glands must be spoken
I'm sorry. I only see some steel
Egrets singing with sky
I'm sorry. There’s a man torn in two
by the door
Don't worry we can fix him.
Humans manufacturing humans.
He says:
I know I'm dead if I dream in perfect pitch.
I know I'm asleep if I taste blood on your lips
where a word tore into song. I know I'm alive if the flame
in one eye whips mad like moonlight & the other's hard set
on "shudders loose in the brief history of glass".
Three cheers for an "unswept place in-between lives!"
Three cheers for raw linen over the sky's black mouth!
Three cheers for breath on a broken pane gone smoke-white
into a glass-sweep of sky you know doesn't exist.

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