In My Hand
For Rich Hollingshead
Here in my hand is something remarkable.
It doesn’t do much, though it’s always on,
It has no microprocessor, in fact, it’s utterly analog.
So why can’t I put it down?
It’s round as a singularity, but benign as an egret
And it feels cool to the touch.
I have studied it for hours. The more I look the less
I know, and the greater the need to look some more.
This is something from another plane, like the music,
But its song is the spectrum and movement in stillness,
And it has no use for time.
It has an outside and an inside, they both resonate,
It transforms itself when I roll it across my palm,
But it was already changing before I even picked it up.
It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,
As indescribable as it is definitive, reflecting back at
Me my own frozen wonderment.
When it goes into the cabinet, I feel bereft,
Though it is still close by. It beckons to me constantly
Even in the disjointed dreams of a restless night.
Sometimes I open the cabinet just to make sure it’s
Still there, in its coat of gloss and its nonchalance. I
Lift it out and I can almost hear it making fun of me. It
Seems to find my pleasure in it overblown,
As if I were the one in the cabinet,
Searching in vain for the exit to the real world.
Well, it belongs to me and not the other way around.
Despite its presumptive air, I will drink my fill of it.
I brought it here to play an intricate visual fugue,
But as the fugue expands, like the universe itself,
So does the mystery, until a once hidden passage
Takes shape somewhere I’ve never been, and the key,
Like the sphere, falls into my hand.
Anne Van Orden c. 2012
March 2, 2012