poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

A Carla May moment

1.

It’s a bright morning without seasons,
clocks, or calendars;
these have long since broken

we called the Help Desk but the line was dead
meanwhile (so to speak) we watch
the measureless flow
of morning, of random newness

uncultivated but welcome
having brought its own ride

we have only to hop on
not to do so would be churlish

after all we can’t stay here
there’s Nothing here

and Nothing else (except Art)
is its joyful useless best
when seen in a rearview mirror

2.

it’s hard to face Nothing
it has no face

no shadow; nothing mirrors it
unless you’ve developed subtle sight

you’re not reading this, for example
there is reading but not what you think

let’s get impersonal
it’s nearer than we can ever know

in its moment it feels like
somewhere and something you’ve just left

not past exactly, definitely there
and almost but not quite over

some call it memory or duration
but we’re Zeno’s children we know better

no need to freak; it is a chartless freedom
a far country nearer than Death

everyone’s Dark Uncle whose bitter finish
leaves a vinegary, blood-in-the-mouth after-taste

Morning needs Nothing to be what it is
what each is thanks to the other

as twins they share upsides, downsides
trading off which is which

utterly free because you have just seen
what it was like not to be
as the one turns into the other

3.

Saw her once, took a cell-phone pic
but had my thumb over the lens

something had come over me
like a bright blurry cloud
beyond a few yards of mad clarity

like when you’re about to get sex
or realize the building’s on fire
or your plane is going down

she looked a bit like Mona Lisa
said she was her younger sister Carla May

out on the town with Col. Sanders’ shadow
she laughed at my photo attempt

“Good luck with that,” she said;
“a moment is all you get
and that’s not what you do with it.”

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