More empires and ruins

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I’ve been absent here recently! I was working on a piece about composition (generalized ideas that relate to any art), but it’s still scattered. So here’s a different thing I’ve been ruminating on.

A friend and I were volleying poems to read, and perhaps a week later I dashed out the skeleton of this late one evening. Like all art, it’s never finished, but I’ve decided to stop editing it (for now).

 

Noble Rot

Something in the air shifts,
and I lie down with the cows before the rain arrives.
It isn’t barometric.
I think it came from my parents
or my brothers; the farm—
the horses, the fields,
maybe the silent scheming cats.

It cuts things up in my head
before they’ve fully formed.
It’s some soothsayer who wasn’t invited,
holding out an empty glass.

I sense the falling of empires
before they’ve finished laying the roofing tiles.
Or maybe I cause the falling.
Or maybe it was rain, ill-timed.

Sometimes you meet people who are fluent.
When that happens things get built, or repaired.
It’s rare.
(The building is my favorite pasttime.)

Ruins are more common; procedural.
Diplomacy can exacerbate it,
but rarely speeds it.
Noble Rot, then grey rot.

A few stars wink into the sky,
I see them in the shapes between buildings.
Hints at some other brightness.
That’s an optimistic way of seeing;
city people are familiar—

Small spaces breed optimism,
like the hidden room we’ve all dreamt—
You find some overlooked part of the apartment,
filled with space
or whatever you’re missing.

Then you wake up.
And you make the coffee,
and get on with what space you’ve got.

 

(And, naturally I’ve edited it twelve more times since I pasted it into this post.)

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