Content is a glimpse
Willem de Kooning
We look at the world once, in childhood.
The rest is memory.
1. Cóntent is a Glimpse
Trapped in the dream of wisdom birthed out of the deep desire for a magisterial eye’s
deific “I am” fantasy of a scalpel-sharp panoptical glimpse, itself at war with
objects’ sexy adhesive lust, carving names loose, the whole world cited, sliced
and diced, precise, to resolve the unsolved moot,
a single mind’s cranky light-machine, lost in the daze of its concocted blaze, unconscious
of its own hankering that shreds the world’s bright fabric into rags and waste, left
sprawled and galled—
taxonomized, anatomized, categorized, itemized, pigeonholed, (do not staple or fold),
sorted, aborted, graded, rated, played out and laid out, named and dated, racked
and stacked by form and norm, median, mean, waft, heft, height, weight,
heterogeneity, homogeneity, blood type, genotype, and phenotype;
the whole dismembered world rendered a mess of bits manipulated beyond measure,
so the whole mind-bullied creation shits its innards in a bright tangle, hiding itself and
flummoxing the hungry hunter;
so the project of seeing precisely sees precisely
blinded by bright profusion and deafened by the rowdy, bawdy whoosh of objects flying
to each other when they will, beyond the limits of our mind-inscribed, gimcrack,
jerry-rigged event horizon.
2. Contént is a Glimpse
Dreaming newborn Adam, waking to god’s voice, with his first glimpse saw everything
at once and entire
in the glittering voices of Eden’s song, weaving light and shadow, singing alleluia at the
wedding of void and form,
and shimmering with void’s ecstasy, knowing itself to be form’s darling and bliss, form knowing itself
to be void’s best beloved;
all this in the infinitesimal instant in Eden when god was about to speak the “אָנוֹכִי” of his
majesty, and not even then,
but just at that moment when god’s throat clicked as he thought to say, “אָנוֹכִי,”
Adam, born of us, bearing us, in that same instant knowing himself, thought, “אָנוֹכִי,” so
they were one voice,
and as god’s immense, etheric circle contained Adam, so Adam’s minuscule bone circle
and in that first flawless, glimpse Adam saw for us all
the brotherhood of the river delta and the fibers of a feather and the roots of a tree and its
branches and blood vessels’ nets pulsing and the track of mud that bursts and
branches and spills through a bank of spring snow and the track of love that rises,
clefts and flows, filling and freeing a life frozen until that moment and the spread
of his hand overlapped by god’s hand, holding god’s hand, cherished, in his palm
and how the hum of a voice about to speak a word fosters and cherishes all words,
and how his “אָנוֹכִי,” contained god and spoke god into life.
And Adam glimpsed everything and was content and beheld it was very good.
(אָנוֹכִי (anochi) Hebrew for “I”)
David Kann is a refugee from a long walkabout in the outback of academic administration. Having returned to sanity, he now teaches, writes, and avoids every committee assignment he possibly can. His chapbook, The Language of the Farm, won the Five Oaks Press chapbook contest and was published last year.