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Rounds

“The illusion of the passage of time arises from the confusing of the given with the real.
  Passage of time arises because we think of occupying different realities.
  In fact, we occupy only different givens.
  There is only one reality.”
    ~ Kurt Gödel, in a conversation with Rudy Rucker (circa 1977)

The bus has taken me
Unnecessarily early
So I search
Keeping the worn brick edifice at left
Whose barred windows testify
To the surly
This first pass
I’m reminded
By a familiar face
Of the miniature catamaran I built from scrap wood
Two summers ago
The motorized draft for propulsion
The crustacean hood ornament over
The uninteresting battery
Assuming he’s the one who smashed it
Where I’d left it in the science classroom
Just behind those bars I’m passing
Too bad it wasn’t outside
Beyond reach

I’ve taken
Needlessly long
To realize the futility of this search
The stone steps at left a reminder
Not of apathy toward harm
But approval
So I kept the submarine I built last summer safe
Tucked out of sight high in the basement
I built it too from a scrap block
Carved into a scale replica of the Nautilus
Studded with metal weights
Just enough so when set in a tub of tap water
It would descend to about a foot and slowly
Achieve suspended rest
I searched for a means of propulsion
Thought of soap’s effect
Of compelling motion through imbalanced surface tension
But no matter how much soap
This Nautilus packed
No motion resulted
From no tension past the surface
Which astonished me then
And continues to remind
Of something deep about surfaces
From where comes the energy
That drives a one-side-soapy wood chip
Scudding along
What force of Nature
Provides none with whom to confer
Certainly not the mass of faces
This second pass
Derogatory defeated or devoid
Of expression

On pointless occasions
One then another have appeared
Once each for experimental purposes
Once involving chemicals
Once with grasshoppers
The chemicals got willy-nilly mixing
With household liquids
Overheated and exploded
So I was barely able to save my workspace
In the damp basement
In time
The grasshoppers were launched to cruel ends
In search of my immediate regret
At wondering whether they could get dizzy
And so hop differently
These would hop no more
A long time will pass
Before I try experimenting again
As I survey the sea
Of the competitive or unmotivated
Where O where are my kind
The compassionate
The creative intellectuals
The genuine
Those living experimentally
Those living experientially
Those living spiritually
Those living uninhibitedly
Past the surface
Those living
I’ve yet to meet
The bell at last rings
This third pass
By the same metal bars
And stone steps
I turn and climb

What’s the use of searching
In the face of their oncoming professionalism
Shaping their surfaces
The more seemingly solicitous smooth sultry
The more past the surface
They’re still the same

Thanks always returns

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