Catastrophe Theory III

Mary Jo Bang

 
Now we sit and play with a tiny toy
elephant that travels a taut string.
Now we are used and use in turn
each other. Our hats unravel
and that in itself is tragic.
To be lost. To have lost. Verbs
like veritable engines pulling the train
of thought forward. The hat is over-
turned and out comes a rabbit. Out comes a man
with a monocle. Out comes a Kaiser.
Yikes, it's history, that ceiling
comprised of recessed squares, each leg a lifeline,
each lie a wife's leg. A pulled velvet cord
rings a bell and everyone comes running
to watch while a year plummets
into the countdown of an open mouth. A loop of razor wire
closes around the circumference of a shaken globe
of snow. Yellowed newsprint with its watery text,
a latticework of shadow thrown
onto the clear screen of the prison wall.
From a mere idea comes the twine
that gives totality its name. What is a theory
but a tentacle reaching for a wafer of reason.
The inevitable gap tragic. Sure, tragic.
 
From The Eye Like a Strange Balloon, Poems by Mary Jo Bang. Copyright © 2004 by Mary Jo Bang. Published by Grove / Atlantic. Appears with permission of the author and Grove / Atlantic.

Poems by This Author

Catastrophe Theory II by Mary Jo Bang
The foot goes forward, yes
Costumes Exchanging Glances by Mary Jo Bang
The rhinestone lights blink off and on.
The Earthquake She Slept Through by Mary Jo Bang
She slept through the earthquake in Spain
The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity by Mary Jo Bang
You Know by Mary Jo Bang
You know, don't you, what we're doing here


Further Reading

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