Thursday, July 29, 2010

Poem: I noticed the 21st is Ascension Day. Monads. Art inspired by mixed signals.

I suppose if you locate a calendar of notable days in Christendom and, with an eye to Ascension Day, discover which year it fell on the 21st; THEN imagined a list of people who might have been able to help Sarah Sarai's literary efforts (but didn't in spite of or because she tried to impress them) figure out the roman a clef-ness of this poem.

I wrote it nine or ten years ago. I was focussed on fiction, but light-heartedness and light-headedness returned me to poetry. The night before I jotted the first draft someone (I really can't remember) feverishly told me about the word "monastic." By the way, I hope you realize that "shebang" includes the concept of "whole" so there's no need to write the whole shebang because then you're really saying the whole whole shebang. Get it?

Oh yeah. Monads. Leibniz, though a contemporary of Spinoza's, didn't have the Dutchman's subtle grasp of metaphysics. Leibniz was all about "monads" which are "An indivisible, impenetrable unit of substance viewed as the basic constituent element of physical reality in the metaphysics of Leibniz" according to the

Here's a better explanation. You know the children's song "I'm a Little Teapot"? Okay then. Sing these lyrics to its tune. "I'm a little monad, short and stout. Nothing comes in and nothing goes out."

I noticed the 21st is Ascension Day.

You’re heading true north
but truth is elusive, useless
even. Incorporeal monads
have soul. Corporeal monads
got it rough. And I think therefore
divides man and beast merely.
After that it’s a free-for-all.
The roots of monasticism,
I learned last night, are in
plain sight, mono, one body
being ample for a lifetime.
In six days you will be dust
(or not), perspective being
everything and a bias. In six
days in your eyes the shebang:
a speck approaching or receding.

Happy birthday.

Sarah Sarai, pub. in FRiGG
& included in The Future Is Happy, available at
Amazon and Small Press Distribution.
image from

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