James Bradley

SPECTATE MEMORANDUM*

1. Abstractus

 Th' earth glows

 with auras

of th' eyes                                                                           

which open

 

The doomed rainforests of the realm

Saturate earth's soil with a forgetfulness

She alone may possess, which is hers

To conceal in the smokescreen

Hanging in the hazy mystery

Between E & mc2

 

A man died on th' operating table

During aortic bypass surgery

His fatal gambit th' attempt

To pass an eye through an artery

His trump & folly

A grande view of the gruesome spectacle

 

"Burning stars suffer silently

 

Suffer stoically

In their sockets"

-Heisenberg Speculations Subcommittee

 

2. Prospectus

We are here today to incise

The memory of an overripe vertigo

With a dull, hand-carved instrument

To avoid th' analogous seppuku

With a wooden sword

Instating, instead, institutions & inquisitions

 

Lovingly, with a vertiginous eye

Toward the transmigration

Of our mundane woes into

Finely-crafted earthenware vessels

We are here today to mitigate

The blindness of broad mandates

 

To plead supplication to Europa

On behalf of parched retinas

(Venus where lenses are scorned)

To hold a speck of awareness

Through the bottleneck

Of this unconscious

bardo

 

3. Objectus

 Th'earth gleams

with brilliance

of th'eyes

perceiving

 

Before the year is out we will see

Sight slighted ! we will see

Light & shadow switch sides

Along precise demarcations

The change all but indiscernible

From th' usual vantage point

 

Of sleeping, eating, & initiating

Th' embrace of paper angels

Creasing steaming folds into

Intimate recesses of pristine pulp

Coiling impassioned spirals

Around one's daily revolutions

"Tear duct of Europa

Possible recourse

To the pity of others"

-H.S.S.

 

4. Conspectus

The moon's sadness distorted

When reflected in a cracked glass eye

Smoothing circular logic flat

Attempting a detailed, systematic

Reconstruction of th' elusive

Circumstances of past lives

 

Such as (for example) th' Austrian

Painter Oskar Kokoschka, of interest,

Degeneracy aside, for one flash

Of prescience as the dark storm gathered

Foreseeing his socket-like wounded chest

A full four years ere Europe shed her tears

 

Ere the year's end we will comprehensively

Expose the tiniest details

As ones most likely to lead one

Into sweeping generalizations

Through grave, irreversible errors of

Prophetic shortsightedness

 

It is the somber though not unsightly

Duty of this Subcommittee to report

These facts surrounding this impending solstice

Impartially, with clarity of vision, if you will

To be the lucidity of earth where it lacks

And the blindness when appropriate

 

Th'earth blooms 

with light beams

from th' eyes 

which see the

transformation

though

weakly

 

 *Summary of the findings of the Heisenberg Speculations Subcommittee into the Feasibility of Employing "Uncertainty" as a Reliable Barrier Against the Unknown, converted to verse by some poet laureate or another, gathered in the months leading up to the much-debated and so-called "Mayan End Date" of December 21, 2012 at 11:11 UST exactly.

 

JAMES BRADLEY is an artist and writer living in San Francisco, California. His paintings have been exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Verge Art Fair, and elsewhere. His poetry chapbook Mirrors of Azazel was published by Hexagon Press in 2014.