the zenith
the channels of the television sky
the nadir
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ANODE -|- elsewhere -|- [poetry] static -|- the television sky -|- waterproject 1998 -|- aurora -|- [fiction] -|- intimations of geography

08. elysium
I.

We purged the silver linings from
the air above, brushing them away
like the thin pink rolls left behind
after the purging of other ideas from
filler paper.

We were the property of the land, each of us
licking the ground in supplication
for its blessings, each of us hoping
for the womb to bear fruit.

We omitted the time of waiting
for our stone god to speak.
We petitioned directly
the sand we tread upon.


II.

She poured out the sand,
kept in her fist
as memory
(ever prepared for the day of its winnowing),
and struck her tooth against silver,
demonstrating the sole method
of divining a flawless pitch from
an unsuspecting accessory.


II b.

A wound in the firmament
poured the waters above
upon the waters below.


III.

Her ankles swelled
with the weight of innumerable grains,
each added as time grew upon time,
her past easing back
into obscurity
and rarity.

Each flex of her fingers sent across
repellent posturing and made the screen
violent in flung and dying electrons.

Each nod of her head spilled forth fine powder,
   the quantization of memory.


IV.

The drift velocity along copper wires
of law-abiding particles was the inevitable consequence
of a detailed transformation, her emotion
discharged through external filters,
a smile unfamiliar as life itself.


V.

She wrote about the low-slung heavens,
jeweled swords,
	and occasional disappearances.
She murmured silently in binary digits
and propelled electrons dancing in step-ladder potentials.
Orion's belt, I recall,
seen in winter months, and hidden
	beneath the horizon the remainder of the year,
was the string of pearls dropped by God across
    the nape of her neck.
High indices of refraction cleaved
the light which flowed through it
into countless unnamed varieties,
each one
      the hint of her name.


VI.

Pressure accreted behind riveted plates of
ferrous embossed metal, the hydraulic
means by which her cargo was conveyed.


VI b.

White noise
like radio static
or winter rain
or leaking steam
or wind-blown leaves
granted solace
from the breathless pursuit
of gratification.


VII.

We cast aside the clouds overhead,
like the shavings of pine from a woodworker's bench,
  and threw our handfuls
	of dirt to the ground.

We were the possession of the earth
lined up on a plain
and we were the image of our love
thrown out into the yard,
or burned in an ashtray.

We observed the protocol,
asking of the fire
before asking of the ashes.


VII b.

An incision in the firmament
permitted the waters above
to fall upon the waters below.


    -- elysium appeared in the journals gravity and Mind Fire