Friday, October 07, 2005

Tony Towle, "Out and Around"

The streets have never been more replete
with automotive self-assertion. The sun
has its instructions: keep up the heat. Nouns
drift about like paper. One of them, a politician, orates,
creating haphazard currents of serial realities
and on the corner stands the archetypal critic, musing
as in a blog — scanning the empyrean
for discourse, paradigms, process, and praxis
while poetry pauses, unnoticed, to signify
on his or her leg. And we are not on the same page
so I turn it and move on
to the Librairie de France
where La Monarchie austro-hongroise pour les gourdes
is finally on display, justifying my years of toil
in making The Austro-Hungarian Empire for Dummies
fit for Gallic consumption,
and somewhere in yet another context
the grizzlies are creeping closer
and are doing well from the outside
but can they prosper in the paint
is the question put to the otherwise empty landscape,
and a gentle ripple of opinion
passes through the waving field of experts.
But you are skeptical of all this darting about, you say.
Very well, I shall pick my way among the fundamentals
in these explosive times and relate a sad but cohesive tale:
Krakatoa grew up with two magmas,
which created feelings of stress, conflict, and volatility
and it resulted in a predictable eruptive displacement
that preempted the attention of all in the neighborhood —
and thus they were treated to monumental trauma
as acted out with rock and gas,
supported admirably by lava and all the ash you could ask for.
Now, let us return to the unfinished landscape:
You are correct that the lesson is not clear,
the translation inadequate, the rainbow suspended.