Cylanders II

i decided i was a ball of clay
                                                                                             spherical temperamental
                                                                                             poetic

i was a thing to be held and not known 
a grid of interconnected variables 
saying, me, me, me, me, me
 

what goes around, goes around again 
pote/ port/ pot
soil a skyline scored in                                                     slip

there are so many ways to situate oneself as
vast sagging field                                                              giving shape
to
meshwork of soldered ideas cylinder
 
 
it doesn’t matter
and yet what you hand down, over, hand out 
is just one-way to live
 

in stressed and unstressed shifts i
am one edge away from disappearing
an expanding idea, a space where more space          is making space is
this sympathy vs. empathy?
 
 
such landslide
where is this all going?
all this                                                                                 orbiting round to become
                                                                                             a dinnerplate turned in 
                                                                                            on itself

Related Poems

Presto! How the Universe is Made

On your Mark, one first O/riginal Form; Get set, a second
angular Segment; Go—the next step, a Rule replacing
each straight side in the first by the second; if I take

a box and for each side of that box substitute a cone
or peak, to make a kind of star—then do again
what I did before: take the star-box

and where I find a straight-line replace it
with a peak, to make a starrier star, nesting the shape
even deeper in the figure, re-placing

peaks to make a Star-in-the-Box! Or, a Diamond-heart-
Star at every level (a shape self-similar); a shape
of extreme complication, in only a few—in five—

iterations, it already reads as texture and is rapidly
sinking as it plummets, repeating, into bonded
lock, where photons mediate, shunting between

heavy center, vibrant orbit. Or deeper, look. No,
look, a quantum leap: the burst box—the born star—is re-
emerging on the line, on the line or/and . . . . Repeat:

Once the World Was Perfect

Once the world was perfect, and we were happy in that world.
Then we took it for granted.
Discontent began a small rumble in the earthly mind.
Then Doubt pushed through with its spiked head.
And once Doubt ruptured the web,
All manner of demon thoughts
Jumped through—
We destroyed the world we had been given
For inspiration, for life—
Each stone of jealousy, each stone
Of fear, greed, envy, and hatred, put out the light.
No one was without a stone in his or her hand.
There we were,
Right back where we had started.
We were bumping into each other
In the dark.
And now we had no place to live, since we didn’t know
How to live with each other.
Then one of the stumbling ones took pity on another
And shared a blanket.
A spark of kindness made a light.
The light made an opening in the darkness.
Everyone worked together to make a ladder.
A Wind Clan person climbed out first into the next world,
And then the other clans, the children of those clans, their children,
And their children, all the way through time—
To now, into this morning light to you.

when you tie rope and ribbon

for oscar lópez rivera

you make two knots
so that years and names
can climb up or down

uniting thick and thin threads
simplicities and opacities
tense and resolved dialectics

your eyes are closed fists
that guide your hands
so the ribbon may last centuries
or until we have no need
to unleash forces
or unarm states


cuando amarras soga y cinta

para oscar lópez rivera

creas dos nudos
para que puedan subir o bajar
años y nombres

uniendo hebras gruesas y finas
simplicidades y opacidades
dialécticas tensas y resueltas

tus ojos son puños cerrados
que guían tus manos
para que la cinta dure siglos
o hasta que no haya necesidad
de desatar fuerzas
y desarmar estados