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James Meetze




This science, secret of fools

who seek irrationally

a phenomenological truth

is not as simple as an apple

or a cure.


Observing dawn, the golden arrival

of an idea, becomes authorial.


The Sun and the Moon and Mercury

gold, and silver, and serpent

I compare everything

upon the earth in private speech.


Wisdom does not cry aloud

in public places.




Shadows on faces change under clouds.

Interrupted light’s green pallor

cast upon you


in still mercurial morning’s bed.

I rise into a void and rend the union

achieved in sleep.


The dream demands

a different approach

a gardener’s thumb

to bring an irregular green from soil.

My soul is an aperture

between veils.





What dark window’s worsted light

this fever’s embrace, this nightly field

O dark sided Earth, sand

that would become mirror-

glass in which my face

joins my face reflected.

Behind us both, blackening

the ugly self burns away

a dead balance

for a time.



As if the sun half rose, the moon

half set below each horizon’s plane

a netherlight unlike high noon

where what is made

rests on the materials joined

neither rested enough

nor wrested from

the process of becoming 

fire, water

the false concern.





Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute

is a mirror image of itself

concrete and teak wood

a strip of water dividing its plaza

situated just so

on the equinox

the rubied, setting sun

sets the water aflame.





What of the house

that becomes a bloom

of termites

one morning, then

I go on living

in it.


The wood holds meaning

like a book of instructions

for turning copper

to green, for transformations

of the psyche

into a tangible thing.




Telescopic world, as ineluctable as age

brings the distant past to us

and plays out a future like a feature film.


The exquisite order of waves

—be ocean, or radio, or greetings—

a rebirth of other energies

like gentrification, like photosynthesis.


Its reverse is a pinpoint, an epicenter, the nucleus

of whatever joins a soul to its person.


I see it in the thrust of a mountain’s stone

nose, inspecting the sky


gold inseparable from air.





That which is above like glacial ice hung weightless

and that which is below is deeper, but with its limit.


A single act’s echo

binary code in the retina display

my wonder descends to earth.


The power thereof is perfect.


No father truly works wonders

at the will of elements;

the subtle is not separate from the gross.


I don’t have the prisca theologia

but I’ve read its thread in books.


I do not work wonder, but pay for it.





The text is the sum, the gathering together

of “washed wisdom.”

Each man makes his own God-image

of an abstract idea, of idealist notions.

Wisdom is always woman

he forgets.

When water from earth

when air from water

when fire from air

and a universe from dark matter’s collapse

then it is said

thou fully and perfectly

possess our art, etc.





The sun has changed my color

and these works, this water, cloud

cast shadow upon it.

Still, the art belongs to each of us.

It cannot be walked away from

buried like a bad mistake.

I go into the streets, into the words

to find it’s just another day

like any other, just a stone

in my shoe that keeps me young.

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