Friday, October 15, 2010

Cosmic Constructions


The moon’s romance was wasted
on the dust of the first moonwalker’s feet.
Science is its own religion. What the hell
is anti-matter anyway? Likely the origins
of all things polyester.

What happens when we are brave
or stupid enough to measure lightning
with a ruler? Oh Vitruvius.
De architectura. Consider
the ruined columns of the temple.
It’s not easy to be as incorruptible
as stone.

Galileo got it wrong.
Galileo, who in the Dialog of the Ebb
and Flow of the Sea,
called out the moon for folly,
became Galileo, the man in chains.
No one would hear. No one would see.
His terrestrial telescope, broken.

Does revelation have a surface
or a center? Look elsewhere.
Look through.

Tonight, the sky is missing a moon.
Orion inclines over the earth,
his belt buckle rides the horizon.


  1. Footnotes are stupid (Yes, I hear your ghost tsk-tsking Ms. Bishop.)

    *But, for anyone who is not as big of a dork as me, Vitruvius lived back in 80-70 bce. He is commonly known as the first architect.

    “Vitruvius is famous for asserting in his book De architectura that a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas — that is, it must be solid, useful, beautiful. According to Vitruvius, architecture is an imitation of nature. As birds and bees built their nests, so humans constructed housing from natural materials, that gave them shelter against the elements. When perfecting this art of building, the Greek (Έλληνες) invented the architectural orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. It gave them a sense of proportion, culminating in understanding the proportions of the greatest work of art: the human body. This led Vitruvius in defining his Vitruvian Man, as drawn later by Leonardo da Vinci: the human body inscribed in the circle and the square (the fundamental geometric patterns of the cosmic order).
    *There is also a lunar crater called Vitruvius.

    Another note: Galileo wrote several treatises. His most famous, of course, concerning the movement of the earth with the sun being the center of the solar system. The treatise (Dialog of the Ebb and Flow of the Sea) I mention in the poem discounts the moon as having anything at all to do with tidal movements.

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