Eleni Sikelianos

(1965 / California)

Thus, Speak The Chromograph - Poem by Eleni Sikelianos

Saying: One night in a cloud chamber
I discovered a thing: that a thing (I used to have a crown
of light) a thing could be more
than True, and more again

than False, a thing
could carry its name

with a ticket of lights
called Possible: In a cloud chamber, particles are betrayed
by movement and water vapors

leave trails. Discovered: when matter and its antithesis come
together, a disappearing
flash of light: (our share of night to
ear) (I mean what I say): In contempt

of the Law of All
Excluded Thirds: laws are not
symmetrical in the forward and the back
(of time). On which side
are they stacked? and the sky also

(is what made Hart Crane
so crazy in the heart) continued to pile up
clouds without account, a mass of gasses with nothing

scribbled under them; a song in the middle

of the crystal
cavatina. We hardly had any bones then. Did
Hart Crane have bones? If so, which kind? And

how far down? It was written
in the boned hours, the Book of Weeds, a treatise on leaving

the house at dusk, when all buildings have already had time enough
to fit themselves back into shadows. As if there were only:

dusk-to-dusk, between dusk-and-dust
where no animals asserted themselves

as separate from the day, and the night
comes again, as it always




has done. The fact was that
I could not follow the map––because the Book

of Nature was written
in math’s un-
certain language, author of black

rains, why the naked
eye
unclothed
can see

between math’s limits
why
a baby’s bones are soft
as pudding when first let out
of the water & take

a long time
to harden, you can flatten
a newborn

’s skull by placing it
on a board, the death-hole
of the cranium takes

6 months to close

and then grow brittle


In describing the last
arc of the last
circumferance: I miss(ed) that halo.

(How long it took to understand rivers

run toward the sea)


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Read poems about / on: crazy, baby, water, nature, together, house, night, song, light, time, sea, sky, death, animal, river, running



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003



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