The Vanishing Point

All these years
learning to verse, 
learning to draw, 
learning to live

with my skin on,
it dawns:
there's something sublime 
about the line.  

In the beginning was the word, 
the word nobody heard,
and only the shadow, 

only the shadow 
where the hell the line goes.


It isn't where

a line begins
or where it ends,
but whether it deems
itself feigned

or suddenly, strangely


punch line 



underline and borderline

bottom line 

beeline, shoreline, timberline

and waterline

front line, baseline, byline

fault line

skyline, waistline, neckline


tagline, hard line deadline


main line.

Says Rudolf Arnheim, the line that describes the beautiful is elliptical.  It has simplicity and constant change, and cannot be described by a compass, as it changes direction at every one of its points.  

This could also be said of the lyric poem, particularly before beauty, science, and the arts were divorced.  

Yes, my child, all things 
come from the wild. 
Even the arts were once

If pressed, yes, okay,

Ah, art, oh, modernism!  What have you made of the horizon, what have you learned from your physics, what have you done to the line ?  The one that vanishes into eternity, into the cloud of the imagined, the line that sweeps our visionary vision up the holy moly mountain or down the deep, dark, mysterious hall --  and in so doing, connects us all ? 

Well, the divorce was an ugly one, and I suppose to speak of art this way is pretty sketchy, a bit suspicious, a little too close to religio-speak for the age of reason and all.  

North of Mist

Just north of mist,
along the border,
  half a color
from the water,

under the kiss
of shadow's daughter,
  (two breaths backward,
one word upward),

past the rumpled
terra cotta,
  down the salve
of templed sorrow,

up the scales
of Bach, and Buddha, 
     down the moon
of broken solder,

through the eyes
of someone's father,
    in the grass
beside the water;

one part liar,
one part seer,
    one part lyric,
one part scholar,

this is the walk
we come to wander, 
    one part illness, 
one part healer. 


(North of Mist first appeared in Poetry Magazine)

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