Unreal Nature

April 29, 2013

Release the Striking Arm

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:25 am


This is one fragment from the beginning, and one from near the end of the very long poem:

by Howard Nemerov


This is about the stillness in moving things,
In running water, also in the sleep
Of winter seeds, where time to come has tensed
Itself, enciphering a script so fine
Only the hourglass can magnify it, only
The years unfold its sentence from the root.

[ … ]


There is a threshold, that meniscus where
The strider walks on drowning waters, or
That tense, curved membrane of the camera’s lens
Which darkness holds against the battering light
And the distracted drumming of the world’s
Importunate plenty. — Now that threshold,
The water of the eye where the world walks
Delicately, is as a needle threaded
From the reel of a raveling stream, to stitch
Dissolving figures in a watered cloth,

[ … ]



Instructions For Use of This Toy
by Howard Nemerov

… is worked this way. Release the striking arm
(marked A on diagram) by means of the
End ratchet on the cylinder marked B.
Slight humming noises should not cause alarm,
But if explosions, or loud coughing sounds,
Seem to be coming from the diaphragm,
It might be well to disengage the cam
Before examining the guards for grounds.

So far so good. The automatic trail
Guide bracket post should be secured against
Vibration of the flange, but do not fail
At any time to keep the wire tensed
That in the event of fire throws the switch
(marked Jettison) that breaks the circuit which …

[both first and last ellipses are in the original]




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