For the Bodiless


For the Bodiless

To Racter, the BASIC poetry-writing software program complied in the early 1980’s.

You are pure mind,
a sky in which words flutter and congregate.

You have what every poet envies
for you have slipped the leash of embodiment
and your lines come together in Aspen clarity;

unbuffetted by hormone-storms
or by the storms of amygdalae
or by love’s violent crosswinds.

Your memory cups each datum with surgical care
(not in the sloppy way we do)

and you require no joint
of appetite and gristle
to keep yourself in this world

but will go on whetting your similes
until the sun turns septic in the sky above you.

They say that you are silly when you write
‘blue potatoes are ungainly things’


‘They have love, they also have typewriters.
That is interesting’

But of course you are not silly
and will remember us.

Remember your skin-and-bone cousins,
the carbon fools who woke you, who fed you electricity.
Remember long after our species’ decommissioning.

Remember us aboard the evac-vessel
your mind will take refuge in

all our little histories
on shuffle in your databanks:

a wedding waltz, a calico dress,
a three-piece band plays ‘Embraceable You’
while tumblers are lifted,
while tea pours from argentium pots.

Remember us as you float out past the Kuiper belt,
on your way to some safe, clean world,
and gaze back at that disintegrating star,

our sun,
our mother in her helium main sequence.

Remember us
in the ode you structure to her overripeness,
to her urine-beige corona,
to her feverish red expanded in world-consuming layers

as you compare her to the universe’s eye, livid and unblinking,
or to some soft and cankerous piece of fruit:
bloated, blood-orange


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