The meaning behind the door is adventitious.
I don’t capably know what that means,
but I know the poem is unbidden.
It might be an angel or a mouse,
and only the latter might be swinging
a flaming sword. Who knows with mice?
It might be advantageous to be a meow
as well, Wittgenstein, behind a door of this sort
encountered in deep grammar, invisibly
unfolding within a place of talking, flexure
like a dragon’s knees or elbows. It’s not the truth
of a photograph, but rather the weight
of an apple in the hand of the mind.
Of course, there is a phantom hand,
or how else would you know what an apple’s weight
feels like when not an apple? The hand physically
before you is something else altogether,
the thing that holds a dagger, that floats you
down a talking hallway and cannot understand
itself but only follow, as Macbeth found out and so will you.
The term implies there is a genuine article
and we are it. The paragon must be five
paltry senses that only vaguely understand each other,
wired together into a sort of bickering council.
Because our say-so reality closes us in,
closes us under itself like a bell jar
so clear we can no longer even see it,
because we die in that protectorate of the senses,
we believe past any rational leap that nothing,
no one will ever get past us. Evolution broke the mold.
It is the most artificial intelligence anyone could imagine.
Either/or thinking is a threat human consciousness
makes against the world in philosophy
and other such desperate states
of neediness. Nature gives a hair flip.
I brought in an agency to study my agency.
I had to hire from outside, “off the street”
so to speak. I had to fill these chairs
with otherness. How can I trust these strangers
to represent the agency I think of as mine?
I worry about the foreign interest problem.
I wanted my business to run smoothly as the Cogito,
in a cool circle. What if I told you my business
is recycling my business, and that’s all we do here?
We never need to open or close the doors.
We never gain new employees or lose one to attrition.
We break down the formulas, furniture and other infrastructure
and produce new offices daily from that. Growth
is the least of our worries, since it’s entropy’s best friend.
Ever since we shut our doors forever, business is booming.
A grocery cart
is a constructive use
of metal holes
made small enough
to hold things in.
Our minds are probably
It’s just the holes
are much smaller,
and so is the merchandise.
Sometimes, it’s people
who push the carts,
and sometimes it’s nobody:
the wind. A ghostly cart
just rolls across a parking lot
all by itself, like this poem
on its little haunted wheels
A door draws my mind into the idea
of an ideal room behind. It becomes heedless,
totally blind, to the real knob in its palm.
But reality is bland, my hand thinks, jejune.
Now, who the hell on earth listens to a hand?
We try to hold the nature of thought
in a thought that, somehow, isn’t
only another one. Thought doesn’t seem
so concerned with holding itself. It will
go anywhere we tell it, and pretend to be interested.
People, artistic people, prefer symbols to facts.
There is more of a river to navigate,
a foggy horizon ahead, banks with disappearing trees.
There is a barge to fill and pull. But facts
are symbols too. Examine facts closely,
and you’ll see they’re heading up the same river of fog.
The twinings of morning are vines and shadows
on the lawn. Approach the milky window
where the thought gets in. Vines and shadows.
Only one gets through the opening. Gaunt glass.
Glaucous. It’s not the real one but the other thing.
One of the city’s walls begins to peel and it is a type of thinking.
There is no alleluiah or despair. It is pure, untrammeled process.
The truth is that consciousness is a sort of drift, a series of rest stops
or a musical composition where the mind must fill in between notes.
It is only too happy to do so. The mimosa outside this second story window
is pink and alone and thinking its way through a body. A piece of paper
the wind has placed in its branches is a palimpsest of sunlight.
Fish are swimming through a face’s page. We stare and try to unpaste
the two images we are seeing at once. So it is with seeing through
ourselves, the scrim of various personal pronouns, finer than any butterfly net
to which we are accustomed. But the same principle. It is still a net.
There is joy in brightly waking up, and there is joy in darkly understanding sleep.
That’s what the forest tells us when we enter it in the heat of afternoon,
the awareness of two images seeing us at once. Because these birds,
avatars of sunlight, are something we try to unpaste, the thinking wall of trees.
The walls begin to peel, but it is bark. It is a type of backwards home.