Orthogonal

They keep multiplying,
right angles,
right angles to right angles,
cheap constructions,
the easiest way to appear
unnatural.

Most of the cosmos
is not orthogonal —
arc or diagonal,
wave or ripple,
circle or scribble.

Will the circle be cut
by and by,
by the axis?

Are your hours counted
in the quadrilaterals
of payroll stubs, resumés,
screens of square memes?

Measure your heart
with an old god’s feather.
Measure your work
with a rolling boulder.
Measure your hours
greater or lesser
in units of beauty.

My Muse is not Euclidean.
Her sword is fractal-edged,
her wings unfold like a falcon’s,
her irises shift in the colors of fire.

I would be a worthy maker –
one who sees use in the useless,
one who bends the straight toward elegance
and entangles the obvious,
one who hates the stolid moderation
between acute and obtuse.

Unworthy builders
work all in right angles –
ledgers and nameplates,
box stores and legal briefs,
swastikas, crosses, coffins.

Germ / St. Tantalus

The seed was made for cold,
patient in its sleep
below the soil-bound leaves.

Microscopic hunger
blackens, feeding spring
with clean decay.

In rich layers of space
is this blue earth-bubble,
seed among the stars.

Our busy action churns
bacterial in scale
for some work yet to sprout.

What germ is sleeping here,
what embryonic tree,
its branches all imagined,

its leaves spread to the possible,
its fruit beyond our mouths
and reaching fingers?

Saint Tantalus teach us
your stretch,
your fickleness.

Your prison is a husk,
your lust the force
inside the Holy Seed.