What I have written thus far is but a treatise
On the owl and the moon, as if the given
Were world enough, as if one thousand and one
Views of the moon— each phase marked, inscrutable—
Illumined the hairline crack in the plaster,
The door to the river, mid-winter’s passage,
A field of view inverted through a pinhole.
The terrestrial and celestial globes
Are not translations of figured worlds,
But worlds figured, where the owl flushed from the oak
Circles above a lost plan of paradise,
The tumbled onyx wall, the enclosure’s gate.
All is shaped by the moon’s static glare and verge,
Its cold charge, by talon, span, plummet, and swerve.
Awake I read the script of a reverie,
Parse and dissect a reed shaken by the wind,
And asleep, Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae,
The monocle of the shallow fire pond,
The surface lux, lumen, color, and splendor,
Silvers and salts from which the image appears.
Between walking and sleeping, I smudge the chalk
Of the plumb line, behold a heaven so vast
No word can stain it. An object’s flawless fact
As it’s desired does not dispute its flaw,
The object’s flaw the fact of its attraction
In this odeum of representation,
This theater of lack and want, mere gesture,
The melancholy of there is. . .and there is. . . .
The owl and moon are points of departure.
Pythagoras read the moon in a mirror,
Divined the future. The owl is my auger:
Talon, span, plummet, and swerve, silence subsumed
Into silence, a final thought that tightens
Like a slipknot around nothing and undoes itself.