Word: an interval, a needle biopsy of a waterfall,
making digital the rinse of experience by jot and tittle.
Poetry, I think, is the distant-thunder sound in the drying ink.
The Terminator is the line separating— not the hemispheres,
that’s the Equator— but the one separating certain metaphors.
One terminator: that knapped core, the inner curve of the crescent moon.
Another, later in our romance, that scythe-swerve down the face of soon.
One is the future severing, leaving the past to its own story.
One a new suture down the calvarium of memento mori.
Good as a Mile
The sky replies to questions posed by human senses, only those. The sky is coy that way. It gulls. It flimmers to the human pulse.
As nights are that which is not days, the mirror dimples to our gaze. Cast and casting; call, response, candle daylit in the sky’s sconce—
Askance I saw it, then. How else? (the steering-wheel was carousels)— Our complement is all outdoors; a fair likeness, too, of course.
Here’s a story, by the bye of how a mote caught in my eye—
Today, driving, I glimpsed the moon. A halfmoon, to be more precise, small smear on an afternoon—
And all of a sudden as it struck my eyes it wasn’t the moon, man-tracked, myth-worn, penny-sized,
nor retinal nick, nor rhyme on rune, but a rock on the windshield, white as the Christ, an immense, nonce, fully round
planetary thing, locked in a gravitational partner-swing with everything.
Not “the moon,” I’m telling you! Not a pale communion-wafer, but an astral entity, curving, stippled, dented, an entire rock sky yawing steeply away on the shadowed side, adrift. It was bigger than gibbous. It looked sensational as one of those artist’s impressions of “Callisto rising, as seen from the surface of Ganymede.” It felt like science fiction. I almost swerved the car.
Can I hope to make you see this as I did? Haven’t you, too, yawned late, to witness—what, some astral smirch or other—forecast aurora— aphelion eclipse—the guaranteed closest approach of Mars, or Jupiter, or any dirty comet pinking its horizon, per advertisement, commending mind to empyrean, murmuring wan words like there?—then there? forefingering night—well, haven’t you?— and, just as in this failed linguistic instance, missed it?
Patient, the sea-seiche, sorting according to size cobbles down the beach…
Here’s Ocean’s wheeze—seas clicking into sentient speech in Demosthenes—
Think, then, tide on stone, self-organizing no end. Large; small; smaller; none.
Richard Kenney teaches at the University of Washington, and lives with his family on the Olympic Peninsula. His new book, titled Terminator, will be released by Knopf this coming October.