All things counter, original, spare and strange in Khujand, Tajikistan

Adam Names the Concepts

I’ll try to tell you how it was: I lay

Face up, eyes closed, nose high and breathed indeed

That vintage earth. Words sputtered fitfully

At first, then flew their avid marvel-ways

To sound, so all around me shivered bright

Unmentionable-till-now conceptions: acrid,

Anniversary, elopement, morbid

Somnolent, mephistoclean, ingrate.

Cacaphony, conviviality,

Condense. The thoughts, the sounds becoming breath,

Inspired ululations…what’s the term?

Glossolalia—that one too I named—

Blew forth until no globed fruit-thought remained

Without a stem to hold. And then I slept

And dreamed each number I had named had grown

Impatient with mere quantity and bloomed

Entire symbol systems: oxen bearing

Olive branches, men with weaving looms

And esoteric patterns tying all

To each and all. When I awoke the world

Had rearranged and snuggled into place.

The sun was high, the dew was fresh and but

One threat remained to trouble paradise:

That I’d mistook “to order” for “to be.”


One response

  1. Seth Morgan

    This is written in blank verse, a form which lends itself to a certain amount of self-delusion. So if any of you who read this notice mistakes in meter, feel free to criticize. If my departures from the rule are in fact defensible, I will defend them.

    February 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm

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