A Mote to Trouble

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 Self-Interest of Motion

Jump stepstone to stepstone in the raging river,
advance from perception to perception, and call
this progress yours. You must know, somewhere deep inside,
your thoughts, propietary leaps, are ephemeral gifts of a wild river,
that where you stood a moment before will be nothing
but the willful erasure of water risen to a new level.
You can’t even follow your own steps backwards
any distance at all. Just try to figure out how you got
today’s moods from yesterday’s. Or try to walk a single day
physically backward. Good luck. It’s one direction
all your life. The wild river, some say, becomes our savage friend.
Neither thought, nor the stream that surrounds it, can stop
the earthly push to be somewhere else, can stop that mysterious
command come from who-knows-where to kill or carry us
anywhere, to kill or carry, and really no difference
which one, as far as these free agents, these hired guns,
are concerned.

Artificial Intelligence

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.

After Philip K. Dick

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

A grocery cart
is a constructive use
of metal holes
made small enough
to hold things in.

Our minds are probably
no different.
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

squeaking.  bitching.

Unnatural Nature Poem

A bird (species unspecified) flies alone overhead
without a theme, so busy. Oh, it has the usual needs,
and those keep it guessing. I am down here
on the ground with a theme. I am busy
with the usual needs. Gawking needs.
Thank you for keeping me guessing. Dear Nature,
who doesn’t give a shit about me.
(And all this time I thought we were close
or could be.) You knew better who kept whose distance.