Sunday, November 9, 2014

To gently stroke the stars..

Vasily Ivanovich Surikov (Russian artist, 1848-1916) 

On The Origins Of Things by Troy Jollimore from Love's Vision 2011

On The Origins Of Things

Everyone knows that the moon started out

as a renegade fragment of the sun, a solar
flare that fled that hellish furnace
and congealed into a flat frozen pond suspended
between the planets. But did you know
that anger began as music, played
too often and too loudly by drunken performers
at weddings and garden parties? Or that turtles
evolved from knuckles, ice from tears, and darkness
from misunderstanding? As for the dominant
thesis regarding the origin of love, I
abstain from comment, nor will I allow
myself to address the idea that dance
began as a kiss, that happiness was
an accidental import from Spain, that the ancient
game of jump-the-fire gave rise
to politics. But I will confess
that I began as an astronomer - a liking
for bright flashes, vast distances, unreachable things,
a hand stretched always toward the furthest limit-
and that -- my longing for you -- has not taken me
very far from that original desire
to inscribe a comet's orbit around the walls
of our city, to gently stroke the surface of the stars.

Troy Jollimore is Associate Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico, and the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning book of poetry, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. Jollimore studied in the Philosophy Department at Princeton University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1999.