Invention of the Wheel $15

These poems consider (sometimes wildly) the inventions that are our lives, and their Inventor, the Divine Fashioner of ourselves and our actions, with passionate imagination, surreal humor, and abiding focus and love for that Fashioner, in all His manifestations.

Poem Selection from Invention of the Wheel

Infinite Clarity


Five nights have gone by and not one owl of
poetry has hooted to me out of his tree

Three moths fly in the room from flitter to flitter
their universe perfect within themselves
looking out through tiny cockpit eyes
to navigate from one light to another

Twenty-foot crocodiles slither across delta mud
sometimes leaving perfect imprints of their crocodilic forms
down to perfectly printed toes and plated scales

Moonlight slips quietly into a glass on a windowsill
reflects in the liquid glisten in one flashing eye and even
two flashing eyes at the same time

or a puddle of piss a dog’s left next to a bush
or a zillion or so other earthly reflections

Yet the moon remains itself wherever it
lands always the same white disc throughout its
unfazed variations

It’s all in the rhythm and phrasing that this
multitudinous world gets played out in discrete jerks and pauses
exclamations and praises

which makes its natural condition more like
continuous song than continuous silence

I’m sitting on my bed and a single beige moth keeps
landing or flittering zigzaggedly above my two black pillows

Where will we go O God that we can’t
see now but You see with
infinite clarity?

And Your pure moonlight lands on
with absolute reflectivity?

2/13/2007 (from Invention of the Wheel)

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Clarifying Vision


An alchemist looks at his laboratory and sees
penguins drinking tea

He looks again and sees it’s his beakers bubbling

A king looks out at his courtiers and sees them
hurling stones

He looks again and sees it’s their tongues moving

An aerialist looks down and sees empty space
sliced in two

He looks again and sees it’s his tightrope quivering

If we look out on the world we might see its
bison heaving together in steaming herds

heading perilously near sheer cliffs

But if we look again it may be a summer
fireworks seen in the distance over picnickers
or the soft chiming of bells played solemnly by enrobed
eighth graders raising and lowering their brassy glints

The plot thickens and thins congeals and bubbles up
and then when it seems to get its thorniest and knottiest
dissipates into vapor and we see that the gummy substance of it
was simply its lovely symmetry or the way two abstract
planes of it intersected then pulled away into thin air

I look at this page and I’m at Alamogordo
watching an A-bomb test shielding my eyes as the
universe showers up into nothingness

Gaze at the walls and see giraffes in wallpaper droves
galloping from right to left in a continuous
scissoring screen loping tall yellow against blue sky

See the hearts of us all like precious orchids in jars
at an exhibition tended by a hooded figure
enveloped in halo calling each of our
names by their secret Arabic meanings
under a hushed heaven

And it’s the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him
moving among us
soothing our bruises and strengthening the
delicate but stalwart nature of our stems

Who sees only God

3/17/2007 (from Invention of the Wheel)

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