Unknown Ode


Historically, the unknown was used

to staunch battlefield wounds.

Now there’s a spray. The unknown

assumes too much, objects Annabell

trying to break up with herself,

like anyone’s here is the first place.

There are rules about touching

someone else’s unknown no one’s

learning in grade school anymore.

Here’s one now.

Boiling point unknown,

cleave disposition, event horizon,

its animal origami unknown

so stop poking.

I thought the idea was not

to have our brains sucked out

by a giant radioactive leech

or an English department

or is that just me? After

the third surgery, I don’t scare

so easily but who isn’t jumpy

as an astronaut recollecting

crash-landing spontaneously

in the Sea of Tranquility,

O2 running out?

The news from the moon isn’t good.

The news from the elephants worse.

Centuries ago, a little girl could

watch a funny bird kicking leaves

until the hand of god came out

and she became Emily Dickinson

and the universe milkweed

as the quantum predicts.

A lot harder now.

It’s all paved over.

God’s institutionalized, murderous.

Most of the universe won’t show up

and it messes with you

so you invent fish blowing tubas,

yo-yoing angels to flesh things out.

Layer after layer of shellac.

Screws in pianos.

Fingerprints in snowflakes.

First you have to love death

says Eluard like it’s not

his black raincoat saying it,

like anything his raincoat says

isn’t stolen from the rain which

everyone knows around here

never touches the ground.




The Best Way I Can Describe It


is if you ever strapped yourself

to a giant eyeball or tried to hold

a beach ball underwater or thrown up

on a whale watch or listened to every

King Crimson box set at least twice

you know what I mean when I say a crash

helmet’s useless when the crash is in

your own skull.  I doubt many of us would do

what Jim did when bears came to his bird

feeders and the end-of-the-world witnesses

came to his door.  See what I mean about

the eyeball? The idea is the mind

has wings. The idea being when the dog

runs off in the dark, darkness is your dog.

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