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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The world

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You think the world re-

volves around you, well it

revolves around Copernicus

and around Ortelius of whom

you’ve never even heard, you

idiot.  Who has?  You act

like you’re inside the Boston

Maparium, the spherical

stained-glass window

that’s meant to show you

where continents are.

Now space is elastic

(and so is matter, but

space a lot more so).

We know it’s elastic because of

Ortelius, who saw that long ago

the continents imperceptibly

had broken off from one another.

The Maparium makes you feel

you’re the core of the earth,

churning liquid fire!  You’re not,

though – no one is, and

it’s very irritating to be so

misled, mistaught.  Item:  Marco

Polo is a swimming pool

game.  The It person yells

Marco with eyes shut and

everyone else yells Polo

and tries not to get tagged.

Or it’s – Item – a restaurant

game, you go into a café and

yell Marco and if it’s the right

restaurant someone yells

Polo and you win concert

tickets.  Remember that smart

video called Voices and Visions

gathering poems and critics in

1988?  Mark Strand said then

and there:  “Stevens’s disclosures

are not of the primary sort,”

a comforting, useful sentence

for stymied readers which

might be applied to the case

of the planet’s core and surface.

It’s probably all for the best

that continents were broken

off to where they be right now.

If it’s the wrong restaurant,

you’d feel like a jerk.  You

don’t have gills to swim

between and among the continents.

 

Caroline Knox's eighth book, Flemish, appeared from Wave Books (www.wavepoetry.com) in 2013.  An artist's book/chapbook was published in Fall 2013 by Jason Dodge (www.fivehundredplaces.com).  She has new work in A Public Space, Denver Quarterly, The Common, and and Tin House.