Saturday, January 12, 2008

Zebra: Close Up and Vast

Zebra: close up and vast

In lucid dream
I see chunks of form—
churning in a zebra striped sea.

The forms race in,
and then again
out of each other,
in and out of shafts
of grey light, something breaking up
or forming —
vibrating on the edge
of sight.

Reality is grainy —
dark blue to completely black
stripes, waves—
emerging into absolute light.

I am close today
to the difference between one thing
and another,
solid, liquid—
wave, particle.

I ache for a point
where something
is known / or unknown
completely dense / not so dense
true / or not.

Except what occurs
at the edge of vision
is a spiral of light /dark,
dark / light
spinning through the instant —
myriad strands
in the spinning.

This is
how knowing works
for me.

break up
in dim light
this morning, flooding
past the pulse where
the vast erotic
of a zebra
striped sea—
along a shimmering helix
of light and the opposite
of light,
of dark and
way of looking
at the world.

©Susan Bright 2008

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Darcy Randall at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin invited me to write a poem
for one of the paintings in their collection. I have been working on a ZEBRA Cycle for four decades, with a bit of editing, the poem above seemed to go nicely with this painting by Melissa Miller.

Melissa Miller
Zebras and Hyenas
Oil on linen canvas
183.7 cm x 213.1 cm (72 5/16 in. x 83 7/8 in.)
Michener Acquisitions Fund, 1985


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