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Wednesday, 29 July 2009



One may age ten years in ten minutes.
It's too quiet. I can hear the crickets,
It's like a music of the spheres in reverse,
A whack recursiveness of thinking,
Or is it just the
night-clicking computer god
And what kind of iterative god is that?

Pascal had his pit, which went with him
Where'er he went, like a faithful dog,
Nor was he out of it. Infinity I can see
From here. It looks empty, unrelenting,
Cold. There is no respite from Being
And Number, a poet once told us that

When it was getting late for him
And night panic passed through his hair
Making it stand on end, the little he still
Had of it. I'll go to the wall, stand with it,
Let it be my friend, just to have something
That won't fall down. I feel giddy, said the clown.

I believe in a world. Is God or death more great?
This world is my world and will vanish with me
But while I click it goes on existing
In eternity -- to 2046 or
2666, or whene'er the chips melt down.
I've lost Memory writing this.

I've aged ridiculously in ten minutes,
Maybe ten years. Distance is closing in,
It's too quiet. I can hear the crickets
Singing God and death out of existence.
More power to them. Click.

The intricate circuits of a summer night.

Under the Elms: Fairfield Porter, 1971-72 (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)


David Grove said...

I wonder if Pascal was subliminally spooked by a message backmasked into the music of the spheres when he wrote about "the silence of the infinite spaces." And what does the music of the spheres say played backwards? "God is dead...Turn me on, dead man"?

TC said...


I should have known you would be my ideal and perhaps only fellow nocturnalist reader for this little L'Examen de Minuit 2.0.

parallax said...


serehps eht fo cisum

I like it, it sounds good

TC said...


There's definitely a plangent ring to that, yes, perhaps the full brace of lines would do better being inverted.

esrever ni serehps eht fo cisum a ekil s'tI
gnikniht fo ssenevisrucer kcahw A

("Gnikniht" curiously summons to mind Sir Gawain.)

TC said...

(...I suppose it's the "ssenevisrucer" which sets up the green-knight association for I read it as a warped inversion of Norse for "seen-through-visor" or perhaps "producer of scene seen through visor", followed by the caw of a totemic crow from the period perhaps of Cnut and Harold Ironsides.)

David Grove said...

I hear the kcahw of madness and feel the wind of its wing--er, gniw... No, I can't stay here! I have a stack of swampy papers to slog through--hguorht--by six...

Mariana Soffer said...

I think there are too many things we do not know, I feel completely empty of knowledge today, like I have no idea about what to say of the things you refered in the beautifull poem with the beautifull drawing.

TC said...


I think I know I understand almost completely and feel exactly the same way myself every minute. Love you, take care.

David Grove said...

Every time I see a Fairfield Porter painting I want to walk into it and stay there for a few weeks. They look like very serene places where you can hear the crickets cricketing and a faithful dog accompanies you on your walks. I heard somewhere that Porter disliked technology. Were you thinking of that when you wrote about "the night-clicking computer god," Tom?

TC said...


The encroaching of the elm shades upon Porter's sunlit Arcadian world secreted a prescience of Night and Fall--doubtless my projections--in the idea of this otherwise eternal summer...

human being said...

clowns... when get giddy... start dancing... and they never fall...
oh not walls... no walls... no leaning against the walls... walls are really dangerous...

i really loved this poem... the way you juxtaposed emotional and mechanical time...

i know how it feels to age ten years in ten minutes... i know it!

phaneronoemikon said...

nice one tom..