–at the Very Large Array


Every branch must earn its supplication,

heaving heart of the stotting

pronghorn, reticular eyes and cooling

skin of a stopped car that resolves regret

into the widest possible topography.

Dark spots eat movies spooled in a garage.

We need a simple thesis :

Everything happens. Every quirky swerve

its own universe, useless quantum churn,

unreconciled, irretrievable, feckless.

Always and already there is only this

fossil light to our practical seconds : here,

the Fourier transform of high desert

plain, landscape of Pleistocene lake bed,

where concave fetch plots the Y-shaped

interferometer to find faintness

in gain, 28 competent pylons :

strutted 100-ton primroses, white metal,

as from Severini. Sage and greasewood,

this low-hilled valley with its windy

raven gauging helix dust

from the lip of a radio telescope

big enough to set your house in

–your unsteady reflector,

short-wave static after bedtime,

boyhood’s failed collimation.

You can’t graph the tossing palms

in a father’s film of Florida, strange

bright birds perched on her newlywed arms.

Diffraction grating brought from his lab

you held to the contents of every room, spirals

never figured.  Tornados came and went.  Lost

drawings of a dome.  Cassettes of Skylab’s launch.

Cusped, standing here. March gusts high and low,

receivers chilled to lure a deeper freeze

into a map, cold iris in the background

a billion light-years wide without star or galaxy :

the Eridanus Supervoid is a blink

that never ends, a river whose debris

batters every bridge to fall. Whose hesitation

to set down a glass, to lift that chin

made this chained gate to a backyard

in which poets mistake lines of houses for drifts of snow?

In which the molester’s comb proves its vivid accusation?

Or, in the chaos of scab lands, where a word

renews traverse, abandoning travois and spear,

the children are swept singing into falls?

Or this one : in which the little son,

our hero, neither drools nor limps, and the eye patch

comes off as he walks for days the sparkly median

from summer vacation’s laundry. Sister doesn’t marry.

Father stays thin beside the trailer and mother smiles,

carrying her bevy of parrots to the door of a glove factory.

Build your starship.

You’ll never get there, where sky stays twister-green

and low, blistered clouds lending their premonitions.

The correlator takes what it can.

Tumbleweed bunches by the door

to a foyer soda machine and photos from "Contact."

At dusk, the operator downloads new

coordinates : horned lark : its little

signal : 4-wing salt bush : they hum

like drowsy bees, the dishes turning

to our golden north, slewing

suddenly as one, pointing higher in the sky.

Another new creation readies its myth

and plans a sprawling connotation.