Myth, Not Precision

  1. According to, or as per the poesis
  2. which aspires to assign justice
  3. to the experience of L-O-V-E,
  4. which aspires not to approximation
  5. but to precision—precision as in sensation,
  6. emotion, incidence of orgasm,
  7. light caught in a few strands of hair,
  8. the heat of blood pulsing under touch,
  9. to sexualize a waterfall and the effects of sun
  10. reflected in a restaurant window,
  11. my husband would insist, according to
  12. or as per Barthes that (he)
  13. the man I desire is assumed to be
  14. “punctum,” a mythologized version
  15. of actual euphoria, the fear and ecstasy
  16. of being held off the ground
  17. by the opposite side of a teeter-totter,
  18. up there dangling in the air, suspended,
  19. not knowing of but also anticipating
  20. a sudden crash, by theory of physics and force,
  21. and so, according to and as per this dilemma,
  22. assume that I am not myself,
  23. but rather the manifestation of his thoughts,
  24. like “my wife enters the kitchen, upset
  25. about the exploitation of fish
  26. and announces that she is reading
  27. the New York Times this morning,
  28. and that activists in Syria are boycotting
  29. telephone company monopolies.
  30. My wife has a nice ass,” he thinks,
  31. and then she saunters into the other room
  32. and he begins to wonder about the
  33. advantages and disadvantages of communism.
  34. So in this case, I become a myth of myself,
  35. not in a bad way, but once removed
  36. from precision, which is impossible
  37. to accomplish amid the worlds of language
  38. that we have at our disposal
  39. merely for the purposes of illustrating beauty:
  40. last night, a thing of magic,
  41. a perfect star and a body beside him,
  42. not the mechanism of page and the word,
  43. but just something inarticulate and fleeting,
  44. like a glimpse of a cheekbone
  45. or a woman laughing, everything askance
  46. and askance, and never discussed at parties,
  47. just forgotten, cast off as irrelevant whimsy,
  48. undocumented, or perhaps, recalled in passing
  49. while you swim the crawl stoke one day
  50. toward a nearby island in a lake.
  51. “Punctum” not the thing itself
  52. but interpretation of the thing:
  53. the loneliness of an unanswered telephone,
  54. a daffodil, Christ on the cross, a bitter herb,
  55. a burnt out light bulb, a woman fat with child,
  56. an erratic flame, a gold-flecked eye;
  57. no, nothing could ever testify
  58. to the beheld moment, but in some cases,
  59. it’s just compulsions of verbiage,
  60. and the poem suffices, and that is good enough,
  61. as in the useless babble of an infant
  62. or the aimless noise of some dogs,
  63. upon a glimpse of God, or something untaught
  64. and constantly thundering, whether
  65. we like it or not.