from Porcupine’s Quill, 1977

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Sample Poems from Paracelsus

The Motor

The motor oiled, it seems,
with hebetude,
rotates its ceiling fans.
          The air hardly
moves for this
historic meeting.

On the rosewood table
between Kepler & Paracelsus
are two bowls:
one of fruit — papaya, limes,
mangoes, and oranges
               from the
New World,
and one of alphabet soup.

Kepler takes the earth to be
a lime. He has an orange sun.
Paracelsus dabbles in the alphabet
soup, listening.
Finally he says
          Ego- replaces geo-
                    no revolution —
                    simply consonantal drift:


Bank, said the clerk with the seersucker suit.
Bank, said the pilot with leather jacket &
               winged insignia.
Bank, said the fisherman with wading boots &
     said Paracelsus, with a smile.
How is it possible?
It just isn’t — not in ‘these’ dimensions.