a quick study

Alas, Edie, we are no longer ourselves. Something came by and cut me down in the night. I was sure you'd notice.

  • John Ashbery, "Coma Berenices", Where Shall I Wander
you are strange to the world, to verticals, to plumblines, to fragrances and the quick
somewhere in the aether writhes a database 
indifferent calculations on immobility
where our nether goes, so goes the ether

Where did the solid thing with the pinionated trefoils go?
neither ether nor nether --
knee deep near the bank where the Russian soldier
in the dream ate cherries, spitting pits in Stalingrad 
(the best multiplayer level)
and when he got up to shit,
well, dreams go down slowly, shot through the gut

if you wage war long enough, visions come to you, Edie
these dream things in the work:
a nostril flare, something from the remains of your day
that uncombine and restir
something convinces you to look, to look again
in one, I saw myself in a mirror,
and that occurred to me, then, that that I had not yet seen
in the dreamwork. Some day, then. The clear pool,