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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Catastrophe Theory II By Mary Jo Bang


Article and poem on display at http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100216/FEATURES06/2160315/1010/FEATURES/Acclaimed+poet+Mary+Jo+Bang+knows+the+value+of+narrative


The foot goes forward, yes.
Yet there are roots. And a giant orb
which focuses its cyclopic eye
on a moiré morning.
When the microcosm is dry — it's earth;
wet — it's water.
Water, reeds, electric eel: one possibility.
Sun, reeds, dust mote and mite: another.
Whatever the elements
(it's urban/ it's pastoral,
it's empty/ it's open), the theory says
it could always be worse.
Until it is. Then theory fails,
leaving a tracer mark.
From blood you come to blood
you go. Sudden things happen
inside a frame. A flame is
lit. Look
at those pathetic wiggly squiggles.
Inferno or garden?
An immeasurable distance
sizzles between them.
Watching it all. But taking so little in.
Just what will fit on the flat
of a glass lens. The ticker is hopeful.
Pathetic fallacy.
Look at the numbers move.
The mystery of ticks.
One per second, sixty per Mickey.
Four becomes ten, one in six
bombs falls in a bushel, a basket,
a two o'clock casket. Do you wish to stay
connected? The seen blurs
into the just heard. A bird outside the wide
open window. The warm day
of March. It changes. It has
all changed. The world
as a distracting disaster.
MY, what little SENSE you make, said the wolf
to Mary Jo. The theory rests
on a tipping point.
The clock steps in a direction.

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