Making It Up as You Go Along

Lucretius loved Epicurus, knew
the world through him; his
meaning was clear: love as a way
of knowing, of assuming the known.

To know is to narrate.
People die trying to tell what
it was like there then. Others
die of not trying. The form of this
telling is, for example,
a trellis. A growth controlled
unpredictable within measure.

Trellis. Tri licium. three threads.
The weaver knows
through the fingers the way worlds
hold together. Basket makers.
The shadow of a trellis is filled
against itself, against measure.
See the sun try again to
stop the movement of the rose

climbing among the woven ways.

Into Bad Weather Bounding

(After Wallace Stevens' "Of The Surface Of Things")
Colligated points, dust, ultimately a cloud, as in
an orographic cloud in Colorado cringing against
a horizon. Boundaried vision and vapor conspire 

to exhale, exalt into rain random dispersal into 
the present: I see as far as that. I never saw farther.

In sinking air, mammatus cloud a sign the storm
has passed is passing... I walk happily whenever 
or sometimes pass the last bad sign the bounded 

land, I am sad as you are doubtless. Sad said 
the bad man, somber. Otherwise say:
In my room the world is beyond 
my understanding;/ But when I walk I see 
that it consists of three or four hills 
and a cloud.

Animals Imagined

A boy on a horse,
a boy on a horse along a river.
Less simple—time intervenes thievish.
A boy on a horse in the rain along a river.
A picture emerges from mist—faint rain
hiding the regnant risk, arrowing rain,
boy lost on a horse in the rain along a river,
a high bluff beside water. Story:
the bit firm in the horse’s mouth
the hand of the boy unfirm.
What we played we played, dangerous
only in retrospect.
If it can be remembered
it was survived,
the era of imagined
horses in radiant landscape;
only the rivers remain.

On Paper

What does it matter—material as in
paper, scissors, rock? Matter of fact,
res facti, not matter of law; res judicata;
mater, wood, in the woods, mother; a
child draws a box, triangle, chimney,
door of paper. A poem a product
suitable for interior use—hollow,
with corrugated support; or a
writing on paper from some wasp’s nest

A game is played to determine matters
beyond law, beneath it: paper covers rock.
Words for “write” in most languages
have a violent origin—cut, scratch,
incise. A few were painterly. To write
in water. To write in sand. To make
a house of paper, a floating.
Writan, to tear, as paper, skin, cloth.