Saturday, August 04, 2007

An Event Otherwise Known

Some things must not be known, not likened
—tales muddle in clocks, in time. Report:
Baleen Swims into Mouth of Fraser
Watchers point, Look! Look!

While the whale devours krill, radio waves
form and reform in the ear. Before the story
finishes it slips into a text, grows
great, grows small. Ten minutes, the hours
pass—or fifty years—an indent or paraphrase.
Details blur. Fresh water fungi or lichens
attack the baleen’s skin and, after three weeks,

it beaches.

That is the fantastical, the hook the hearer dreams
of, the mysterious whys. Tugboats in lines give
chase to drive the grey from the channel.
But it comes upriver with wisdom, a purpose.

At least we wish it to be true—for we must
make Mysticeti familial tales, myths of centric
matter. There! There! It swims
upon this page, beaches
in a margin. Now we know the reason
it flings fin and tail, submerges in the white.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Portrait of the Reader as a Man in His Kitchen

"We read to know we are not alone."
Spoken by the C.S Lewis character in Shadowlands.

Mouth at odds with countenance, he reads aloud.
His lips toss a pinch of salt, thrice sifted flour,
sprinkles of marjoram. Yet the body’s tilt, the crease
of brow, his internal thrust, pleads Holy Mary
Mother of God pray for us now and at the hour—
cinnamon. Every good receipt should have it.
And nutmeg too. Thou preparest — he's intent
upon a mirror. Upon the nuance of the cup.
But this slim vessel cannot contain fervent
utterance. He leans to recess, takes books sweet
as biscuits and breaks the bread of spines.
Eyes search for magical correlation, the obelisks
of feeling. He picks words from the rows and drops
them blindly into the shopping cart of his mouth.
While he works, his head bows to a wailing wall
of kitchen cupboards. Somewhere in the stacks
of Betty Crocker, somewhere there must be
the fit glove of incantation, its vesper
suffusing drawers of spoons, the hidden nook.
Roll the dough into the shape of this man. Let him
rise. Let him rise with a face, a body spiced.