- Inscrutable Geometries
Time to get down to business. Time to settle Accounts and round the sums. The sun’s loose change lies scattered on the floor And shade has inched between the pansies and the mums. The piper’s all played out, the whore’s been diddled, And the shops have closed their doors.
Time to square with the clock’s big jaundiced eye As it glares back at you With those two sweeping hands that meet like shears When you wake up not sure yet if the dream was true. Time to answer the phone and tell us why Your payments are in arrears.
Time to admit the check was never “in The mail,” that you were never “Between jobs currently,” nor was your card Mischarged, stolen, lost. You’ve always been too clever. You’ve always had the tendency to spend More than you could afford.
How easily you fall for cheap distractions— Long nights, gossip, and girls, The highball tumbler sweating along its facets. How easily, old swine, you fritter away your pearls For one more chance to nose the world’s confections, Squandering your assets,
Until look, it’s late: the leaves have gone the way Of dames and dollars now. The spider’s tallied up her last gauze beads [End Page 181] On the web strung between the porch and locust bough. That wind sounds like the rake of a croupier Combing the yellow weeds.
So run the spreadsheets. Balance the register. You knew, of course—didn’t you?— The bill would post, that notice for both prime And principal: Records Show. Please Pay Amount Due. It’s time to make good with your creditor. Soon ends will meet. It’s time,
Dear customer, it’s time.
Depth of Field
The web looks cluttered with particulars: Filaments rain-strung like an abacus; Some bits of grit, and wings in mismatched pairs Around a desiccated carapace; A bright leaf blown loose from the hawthorn hedge. The spider tiptoes at one raveled edge.
Or else taps on its wires a shining morse Our sight translates until the world assembles And, shaken, holds. The daylight’s downward course Reflected on each wet thread hangs and trembles. The scattered trees, those far hills, to the eye Seem gathered there and gleam like tesserae.
Both a frame and object, then, for our regard. Through husks of dead bees stippling that lens You glimpse live bees carousing in the yard, Stumbling among the waxbells and impatiens. You see the puzzled clarity of the web, The round sun’s spoked refraction and its ebb. [End Page 182]
But let the observer go home, let him sleep, Dreaming of bee and web, of leaf and sun —Parts of that finished day the mind will keep, Spinning those several visions to the one— While the spider, lost among the vanished trees, Looms its inscrutable geometries.
The Dream of Reason
For several minutes the whole drunken room Whirls in my half-sleep, and a daze of motes Flares in spindrift galaxies, staggers and floats Like Descartes’ dream, before the ergo sum Of consciousness calms the mind’s delirium, Taking note of the room’s coordinates— Floor and four walls where light accumulates; The shade of blinds a slight wind moves at random.
What to make of this lingering trick of sense? Descartes got up and, shaken from his ease By a dance of sparks, a stranger, and a verse, Constructed from his thought firm evidence. And me? Motes spin their bedlam universe In my mind for days. I tire of certainties. [End Page 183]
Morri Creech’s most recent collection of poetry, Field Knowledge, was awarded the Anthony Hecht Prize for 2005.