divine magnet

about

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Caroline Knox

 

Transept

Their sound is gone out, belts out a choir

visible and audible here in the transept

North      East      West      South: acronym, NEWS

gone out          andante          into all lands

turf and twig. (An OED or google game

[trans — across; septum — enclosure],

as this item: “The pediment of the southern

transept of [Killington] is pinnacled,

not inelegantly, with a flourished Cross.”)

and their words          I keep reminding myself

unto the ends of the world          swept

aisles and isles going and coming either way

coming and going, monument and document.

 

Poem Beginning with a Line by Milton*

It was the winter wild
when we found ilex verticillata,
a deciduous holly, growing
spontaneously in the
sophisticated taupe landscape.
Of its yellow-scarlet berries, Asa Gray
wrote: “nutlets smooth and even.”
The holly’s leaves were down, dead,
and mashed by rain. Why
didn’t birds go after those berries,
in this poem which
ends with a line by
Creeley: the story is true.

 

Title not Given*

Information delayed. Information withheld.

Saturation with info, useless and helpful blended. Plot

not “completed.” Size and significance of events

unemphatic: far too much attention paid to

tiny subjects. Option on funny noises.

Order of info homogeneous. Litotes,

a Greek god, Litotes of Lacedaemonia. Why isn’t this boring?

Do I need this info? It changes all the time,

doesn’t repeat itself, it only almost does.

What is a “conditional honorific”?

Randomness and inductive method, both at once.

“So what?” is a valuable question to ask. Frame story,

like Taming of the Shrew, but W.S. didn’t

finish the frame! A is really a pretext for B. B is what counts.

 

Latin Poetry

My father said sine die

meaning no set date

—We will adjourn sine die

and pronounced it synee dye.

It wasn’t trig, it wasn’t

dying. A lawyer he

was and my mother

a master of landscape

architecture (it was called).

She said sanseveriana

rei vieri, pronounced

sonsa-veery-anna

ree-eye-vie-ear-eye.

It’s a restaurant plant.

My husband was a canon

lawyer who said Sede

vacante nihil innovetur;

this meant if an office

is vacant, nothing must

interfere with the next

incumbent’s freedom. In

grade school I had to take

lots of Latin, so I memo-

rized Gallia est omnis

divisa (I said dee-wee-zah)

in partes tres, quarum

unam incolunt Belgae ….

Belgians? Shouldn’t Belgians

be Belsh? By analogy with

Welsh? For both are

somewhat Celtic, aren’t they?

* “Poem Beginning with a Line by Milton” and “Title not Given” are collected in To Drink Boiled Snow (Wave Books, 2015; wavepoetry.com).