I Spy a Litany

A curled cat, pumpkin bread,
a red CD, a black TV,
the Canterbury Tales.

Curtains, a kettle,
a motionless fly,
a basket, a lamp,
the magic of rhyme.

The rhythm of dishes
washed at the sink,
rococo October,
the enchantment of Things.

Crows! A sickle!
the man in the moon,
silver, oranges,
an eldritch tune.

A melted candle, Icarus drowned,
a cold surprise, a wet demise,
an existential wail.


Inspired by I. Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology (or What It’s Like to Be a Thing). Written while listening to Alexandre Desplat’s “The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe, Part 1: A Veiled Mist.” Not quite a Latour litany; not quite an ontograph; not quite Marzollo’s I Spy.

From Songs of the Marshwiggles: III

Why do you call the dumb one dim?
When Darkness comes he comes on quiet feet,
seats himself nearby to share your grief,
folds his garment close against the cold,
and waits for you to speak.
This orient friend, barefoot, robed in silk,
stern king of his country immortal,
fierce warrior, extinguisher of stars,
sits cross-legged beside you
long after you sob yourself to sleep.
Bright words are not the same as wisdom.