Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Worlds such as this were not thought possible to exist.
—NASA, June 2, 2014

Was it I who invaded the day, or the day who invaded me?
I do, I undo, I redo.
I enlarged the figure till it was a mountain—I don’t fear the sublime—
and I cut off its head,
having already cut out its tongue. I have three siblings and flocks of children,
and though we’re oft confused,
you must know that I differ from all: I am not my brother Darkness,
nor my sister Dirt, nor my brother Torment.
I am a time and I am an astronomy, a geometry I invented myself, an architecture,
a divine, and like any divine,
yes, I have made kin from unions with my kin. Out of a union with my brother
I made the nymphs,
the river and the boatsman, lullabies. That if X is an obstruction,
and if the poetry of X was music,
then this poem is a musical obstruction, and if this poem is a musical obstruction,
then this poem is a lullaby,
my kin born of my kin. I am a space as much as I am a voice. Did you truly hail me
for a dimwitted conversation about love?
I do—I undo—I redo. There is nothing like me. I am not my brother Darkness,
nor my sister Dirt, nor my brother Torment,
no more than I am the Gaping from which I was born. I am a charioteer, a bird.
Would you believe me if I said I also made
the Ether and the Day? Whether or not your faith is stored in my ear,
I am sure in what I have made.
How could I be both gentle enough and dangerous enough for your thoughts?
Do you have thoughts? I asked about moon,
dark, pain; you only gave me yourself. And as to my other question: it was me.
I invaded the day. It didn’t stand a chance.  

Note: Two lines come from or are direct references to Louise Bourgeois’s What Is the Shape of This Problem? and her contribution to the Tate Modern’s Unilever Series. The phrases “X is an obstruction” and “the poetry of X was music” are from Wallace Stevens’s “The Creations of Sound.”

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