Jeffrey Yang and Melissa McGill
I. Ceiling turned to sky
Time to timelessness
Further from the center to the outer stations, along darkening tracks along opposing banks
Through the fjord the sound, river iced over
Night valley emptiness, seawater tide, shored
Against wreckage, for a new form to live by
Runs the line, out, on and ahead, reaching toward, into
Now held by the light of the end, here
Of what was and to come, past the storm-cloud mountain
City of broken glass, circle of boulders, lightning-rod field
Scholar-rock memory, floating gate in the middle sea: eagle-shadow, tower break
Water, frozen fragments, cracking sheet, silence of life beneath
Wind swirls the snowgrains, echoes raised in the breath, the pause
Fading moon at the last-quarter, wild grass not dead but asleep
Steady iamb of freight cars from the other side, breaking free
Island apart, between, negative halo hovering
Moment, of the radiant spheres, burning asterisks
Darkness goes to dawn as the lights fade and the lines appear, formless shadows beginning to shape the nature of surroundings.
Poles set horizontally across the meridian would make it appear to be a construction site, or a cage, from a distance, recognizable screen.
But with space between the lines the evidence of what was extant merges into the clouds of the mind as different signals or signs.
Morning’s ordinary stillness: listening for the horses of-the-Frisians lapping the waves, hearing the crosstalk of autumn birds.
The flute of the orchards brightening blue, the way whitecaps play against a barge drifting slowly toward the remembered city.
Time reverses in the golden light, the reds and yellows blur the frame into a postcard signed “Love, M. M.”
Everything was made to matter—out of spirit. Seventeen echoing a hidden significance when measured against the proportions of the collapsing structure.
Even now, following this track of influence and arriving on the little island, overgrown, wild with green plants and trees, plastic chairs, rubble, beer cans, new metal reinforcements against a history of natural destruction.
Above the grottoes and cisterns the vertical screams.
Set in a former room by the former stairs spiraling topography into air. How sight follows the real, hollow becomes hub, cave an inner exaltation.
Noble deer, swimming toward the island in the summer rain, when lightning was a god’s fury, hidden gods, of forest and current, tawhid oneness in unity, what hoped for fidelity, in the absence, along the bone-scattered shore, hart’s ribcage, red-winged trill.
Vines cling to the mortar binding the crumbling brick wall.
River-moat provided safety and protection to the castle arsenal, built with cement and junk sealing brick, cannonball ornaments, ropepatterned juttings, faggot burner atop corbelled cylinders, capstan and sally ports, ramparts to pilasters, finial buoys on buttresses, steps to wee bay, Gatling guns on sun-porches, now portcullis emptiness, powdered memory of a flint economy hosting new wars.
Picturing facts: exposed juniper berries, voices of hikers descending, water celery swaying in the shallows, inert stones, the painted lines blending into translucent spheres, gesturing before that, before that…
Their points of interrelation cannot manifest themselves but in the artifact that swells and glows.
Standing on a platform Last lookinglight dims throughto firstthe dusk light
At the holi fire-yellow dusting the bare branches like corn pollen
Sprinkled in curving rows and spirals of a hidden truth
The passing names, imagined lines, what exists as a renewed sense of place
Night, day, night rhythm of architectonic projection
Darkness slowly deepening with filaments igniting, one by one
Translating the sun, each luminous body filling the space within it
One pause, then another, listening to a beehive of light switch on
Seeing the island as if from the other side of a celestial mirror
As if these same words were already written but with different meanings
On a slope shadow of a cypress rising out of nothingness into the open
Against the distant lights of the houses, each point at rest locates its fullest intensity
Unaware at the time this was an emblem of happiness
Moths circling the glass, nature dissolves the mind
How conquest becomes decay, disrupting the perimeter
Of the constellation: line and light, figure and void