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The Impossible Machine
FIGMENTS OF ELYSIUM, a poem
Dense silence seemed
a little more
condensed than these
small echoes

my words, besides intention
reach small distance
sketched in brief
as though the twilit
room of history
contained a doll-house future

Myself, dangling on a string
from a thought I almost had
in those momentous times
when poems were the night

I yearn to know
what dollhouse I had then
creatured by ghosts
or other puppet-men

The twilit room
all velvet navy lavender
the impossible Cubist table
with the stand of simple flowers
in a vase with mere water
water and yet more than water

A room, a real room
a real dollhouse, a real quarters for the mind
dangling from whence it had not dangled,
dangling from the thought of not dangling,
dangling into a simple room with flowers.

From here, having lost sight of any
abyss
having forgotten the gossamer
spiderwebs
What's left are words, tangents on the world
that passed; even time
looks the other way
the heart may skip
but the clock ticks

The twilight of the moment is not so
bewitched
fear's escapade
has left my bones
freakishly still

My person is not the only vessel
identity has become amalgam
with what it thought

Steps outward are paved with a
different stone

The eyes have leaked and devoured
until their wonderment has
become for a different sense

One eye maybe
turning outward for a glimpse
at something neutral to its own
sense of balance

An eye that sees a river
and in it brilliant fish

My own eyes catching in
more than knotted mirrors

I may have thrown the colors
on the wall beyond the lip
breathing a silent path
thinking of a simple room with flowers

Stepping beyond the clay,
the silt, the humus, the substrate,
the stippled weeds, the bracken, the
tidal seaweed
I peer beyond to jutting hips of land, porous
stones and shrubs like ragged wings
The quiet steps on the pink stones
the congregations of related moments
persons, virtues, temperaments
speaking of something as though to be written

the sweet air asking for darker words
the charged metal of a cottage fence,
the moldy stone on which it rests
the little glade where one might write a verse
the humble kitchen sitting behind the herbs
all impinging on the thought
that this recalls what was forgot

As though the words were written plain
to plain forget staccatos lost to death
the fear of loss or reason to catch breath
the corners outside of forgotten idyll hours
the embankments where all thoughts are
shattered
the least convenient truths

the steps amiss where all else went to plan
the courage lost to monsters somehow real
the trot of beasts that strut another field
the music of a different hunt
the chorus of another play
idyll forgot as soon as it congeals

I could say its dust and ash
bones and blood
spittle and ditch
corpse and flood
but sand is sand
in spite the spirit glistening
over the inexorable expanse
bones almost like shadows
sifting and folding
paradise almost a mirage
dreams glossing the fields with charms

almost like a garden gate
mind trespassing on a figmentary stone
herbs breathing an impossible spice
life living around the heart's spare garden
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by Eucaleh Terrapin