Archive Index    Sections:2 3 4 5 6 7

The Bride of Entropy

Words be simple,
address the heart, 
without complexity,
with less precision 
about what is 
than of what is not.

The time of coming blends 
with the time of going,
inflicting sudden resolution 
upon tentative hearts,
demanding ends to beginnings
and beginnings to ends
beyond simple dissolution 
or bright becoming.

I say what I say and
what I say says me.
What use to try and
have it otherwise?

Rid self of 
white wings
ringing chimes
atop the inch 
wide pinnacle
of foundation
whose base is 
located among the
less probable stars.

Perfect moment
after struggle, 
a tangible touch, 
deeply primitive,
voluntary trespass,
open only 
to accident,

concealing a fully 
matriculated skeleton
who would rather 
not know us­
an uneasy alliance
is struck with bone
due to the fact
we animate it
with our lives:
it has no guile
of its own 
to guide it­
only a faint
pride glimmering
from the marrow,

the greater
contained in 
the lesser,
rising on the
tide of the air. 

Components lash together,
form compounds,
ways of coherence
able to reassume 
any shape long held.
This is the law
of mineral and matter:
continue as before
and await accident.

Memory alone 
informs the root 
of this exercise
in aggravation.

A door swings on
customary hinges
	to reveal 
a girl reaping 
the currant bush,
the Bride of Entropy,
who could do more
than strip berry from branch, 
given the right 
conditions, but 
remains disinclined.

A statement
must be made,
something to
posit time
without the
aid of time:
quick, decisive,
without method­ 
for its own sake
without recourse
to memory.
All were well 
if this were well
and song might
still be sung.

Blue field of 
her bandanna. . .
hard to tell if it 
is  blue; if so
bluer than what?
favors beauty, 
beauty favors blue.

Shaking her hair
on a column of
elastic bone,
miming fluidity,
	out of her 
throat comes music,
none sweeter.

I steal her berry basket 
and run 
	fast as I can, 
try to eat all 
before she catches me.

I wolf them down
in a cave sacred
to the moment it 
takes to consume 
the spoils of love.

What if she's armed? 
She is not armed, 
I know, but naked,
assuming the
proportions of a lioness.

I hear breathing
hills behind me.
Breathing hills
in which to hide.

A curtain of skirt
obscures the
door to the cave;
naked no more,
she knows who
stole the berries
but I am gorged 
and no longer care 
who finds me.

The good juice
of her fruit is
my blood now.

Caught, scolded,
ending in laughter.
She is not unkind.

She takes my time,
a week of my days 
like captured sunlight 
a closed room,
leaving a little dark
presupposing night.

I took only berries.
I am not poor. 
I could buy them.
I offer money,
	she defers,
says we are even,
dangling a bit
of daylight across 
her shoulders
like ermine fog.

My fingers close
upon themselves,
unable to grasp
the proffered bit
of confiscated time
Digging a hole to bury
the excess night (she 
took only the daytime,
darkness she has aplenty)
I manage to unearth 
a couple of golden tablets
inscribed by a finger of fire.

I commit a few lines
to memory before 
tossing them back
and refilling the
hole with dirt,
having no interest
in founding any
kind of movement
and being no collector:

This I command:
thou shalt make no gold.
All other compounds
fashion freely. Of gold
alone I abjure thee. 
What gold thou findest 
in rock, crevice, or
by sifting of waters, 
with that adorn thyself,
collect in sacks or barter,
but gold which hideth 
in the heart of lead,
this I do forbid thee.

This being said and supposing
the creation of the forbidden item
synonymous with attainable perfection,
what would seem to be the major beef?

Such whimsical dictates should 
be disobeyed on principle.

It wasn't so hard.
In fact it was easy.
The formula was clear. 
One transgression led
to another and the
gold came slopping 
out of the spiraling
shimmer of magma 
like butter out
of clotted cream.

Forbidden, it
had to be done.
There was no
way around it.
Might as well 
have been 
a direct order.

It's worth the 
ensuing cataclysm.
The new rules, 
differing in detail,
will be like the old 
in essence. We will 
need to find out what
they are to break them.
There is a place
where the cracks
in broken dishes
collect to form
a continuum 
of their own;
a place whose 
existence is a 
closely guarded 
secret passed
among the Greeks
who had minds
to appreciate the
anomaly of it,
called upon it
often in the
mending of 
hostilities or
the sealing 
of friendships
by the shattering
of crockery.

The place intersects
this place of ours
each time an earthen
plate or cup is
hurled to stone.
Impending breakage
acts as invocation,
a crack is provided
from the store of
splits and fissures,
the agency withdraws.

Where does the crack go 
when a vessel
is perfectly mended?
	It goes home.
Where it came from:
a finite place
with limited reserves.

The selfsame cracks
have appeared on
a variety of bowls
throughout the ages.
There is an economy
in this which serves
as a hedge against 
full sway of entropy,
extending finite time
by fractions of a second.

They also serve who
harbor only moments.

After each of the laws
of harmony and
consecutiveness have
been disobeyed in turn,
a difficult music
begins to divulge
its catalogue of
resonance and timbre.
After tonality itself
is discovered to be
detachable from music,
	and the notes,
if notes there be,
arrange themselves
in shadows cast
by flaming brand
or candle light -
the pitch which rings
of its own accord 
in the inner ear
will continue to be
C above C above high C,
a staff above notation.
Upon this aural thread,
symphonies to come
will continue be strung,
even in the silence
of absorbed vision.

It is a tone 
without duration.
It has no time
but simply
sits in the ear
while we pass
without passing.

There is no 
substitute for
Blue Heaven.
The Orange
Empyrean will 
not do service.
The Valhalla
of High Violet
or the Elysium
	of Indigo 
are likewise 
way stations
where shreds
of hours are 
collected; only
in Blue Heaven
are full days
fissures on a
continental scale
are dispensed
and removed,
consigned to
other places.
Cords connecting
worlds may be
of silver, gold,
	cobweb or
mere mind
but Blue Heaven
is attached to us
by beams of moon,
starlight and sun.

Blue Heaven
doesn't merely
coincide with us,
it is a part
of our domain:
	the greater
contentedly contained
in what is
by far the lesser.

It is the treasury
from which all
gold is garnered,
	repository of
jewels, buds and brides
all of which flow
up and down
the several cords
connecting our 
	world of dirt, 
rock and water
to the consummate
clime beyond clouds.

Brides for stone,
brides for water,
brides for time
and tolerance,
justice and the
other living deeds
	which wear 
a woman's face;
brides for each
but none for men.
All are spoken for.
Men must find
their own among
the creatures
of their kind.

The Brides of
Blue Heaven are
chaste as we
can never be.
Adore them 
from afar while
holding to your 
own betrothed,
or forfeit dignity,
sanity and time.

She is spoken for,
the Bride of Entropy,
vanishing by degrees
	in the act of
being wed. She
has no veils ­ not
one, six, nor seven.
The bride is naked,
holding a bouquet
of wine damp roses.

She is spoken for,
the Bride of Entropy,
dissolving in the
tacking of the bed,
glowing of perfume
like an ember dipped
in a sachet of spice.
The bride is naked
holding a bouquet
of crisp green celery.

She is spoken for,
the Bride of Entropy,
by no bridegroom
discernible in the
bright light of moon.
She is stitchless
beneath a brocade
of stars, keening
a chill ululation,
bearing a bouquet
of thin blue fingers,

beckoning fingers,
to a pathway
of anguish
dread of doom
and doom's 
played on a
taut stave 
pitched keen 
as the eye of
the ear can see,
a path of searing 
fevered sleepless, 
scorched vision,
chittering madness 
a rope bridge
slung over a chasm
on the far side
of which sing

the blue.
Sounding the
hammered horn
under a parasol
of cobweb 
a crested cap
to damp the
brimming sun

forcing the
blood from 
the lips
	for pitch
until the

we expect
and forget
to expect as
we chew, 
and digest 
the stripes 
and stars

of a banner
what we 
never were 
and do not 
expect to be.

Self satisfied 
with our
pathetic caches
of expertise

	we are
none the less

all the starry
has to offer:

ice from heel 
to pinnacle 
to dome
of very sky
	laced with
clouds and roses.

Head of a rose
on a celery stalk
with roots of
thin blue fingers
wriggling in the soil,
stationary nomads
	by a motionless river
whose banks 
flow by in flood.

This to press against,
that to hold onto,
and this, again, 
to set alongside that for 
scale, weight and measure. 

O Bride of Entropy­
the faith of faith,
faith that rests
in faith alone,
is a cup too pure
for lips to taint.
A single droplet
colors many seas.

Faith in some 
as may be,
in the miracle 
that dense
blankness should
ever have lifted 
to discover day
undivided by hours.

However this
peripatetic world
is effected it is
endless in that
it hasn't ended.
This we have seen.

Others have ended.
We can calculate
our own destiny 
by the evidence 
	of our eyes,
and consequently
acquire prudence
	but it is hard
to have faith in death,
except for others,
if death be death
and not another
crucible of life,
inverted to the sun.

The supposition of 
the beholder is:
All die yet I do 
not die. The world 
to convince of death
through reason.
Be not convinced!

Dwelling within 
the fact of this,
however elusive,
is one specific 
sliver of the full
spectrum of glory.
Coming from 
different places, 
held in thrall 
by mutual attraction,

I was spherical
and inedible,
my arms corded
	with nebulae,
my mouth a tunnel
under all the seas
of earth to the moon.

Eyes I had aplenty,
all on loan,
I borrowed sight
from other things,
saw with their
particular concerns
the different joys
and tribulations
of the world
upon whose legs I stood.

You were centripetal,
petals turning
toward the center,
lips admitting only light
for photosynthesis,
your eyes closed 
	inward upon
a modest tract of 
internal self-lit day.

Miracle of connexion
between what is
outermost and 
what is within. I
caught your gaze
and you mine,
a bridge extended.
Each of us assumed 
the form most 
pleasing to the other.

Dancing in the dark
we feel the perfect floor
beneath our feet to tango.

From another room,
to which we are
equally blind,
	voices rise
in boastful meter.

Wealth and dominion
	are discussed, 
declaimed, dismissed.

What is this wealth
nations boast of?
It is not their people.
It is the boxes of
thin blue fingers
stashed away in
secret drawers,
hidden from hands

­ thin blue fingers
that walk in pairs
along the avenues
extended by cobweb 
into the soundless
white of completion.

The friction at
the heart of matter
is the heat of 
many thin blue fingers snapping.
Here is wealth
worth collecting
but who can spend it?

We reach here and there
rummaging around in
the dark velvet sack
for shapes and senses
to assume. Names, 
we are only names
to which characteristics
like thistledown adhere, 
gathered on a trouser leg
strolling unkept fields.

Who is the darling
of your heart?
That is the darling
of mine as well.
The one who
least resembles
while resembling.
Among opposites
it is the seed of
similarity in what
is clearly different
that calls across 
the teeming void
demanding embrace.

Here a face ­
here an outline
of a face
projected by
imagination on
a symmetrical
disposition of parts.

There is no face
just as there
is no sky. But
there are eyes,
yes, and there
are clouds.

Horizon of mountains
horizon of the sea
horizon of the brow
cut and curve of figure,
horizon of the pillow
propped against the
conservatory window.

Nude with a sundial
splayed between the
horizons of an easel.
Bride of Entropy
spoken for since
words were made.
Lacking only love
I lie beside
a fire in the wild
huddled in a skin
while wolves 
and sorcerers
stand guard at
every passage,
great or minor.

I, friend of Wind,
was sent by her
to scatter seed
and gather tunes,
fingers sharp
to pluck strings
charming all
that slither 
among stones,
toxic with venom,
listless at perihelion.

I am the lord of
snakes and spiders.
These are my people,
liege of the rat,
I sing of things
that scurry
to the edges
of blueblack sky­
of ragged things
inside the ground.

My weight is the weight
of cadaverous fruit,
green beyond ripeness,
lacking the love to live,
infested by the
soul of the swarm,
praying to meat and wine,
rubbing a salve 
of spit and sand
into sacramental wounds.

I have come to claim
the bride whom I
have spoken for.
I have brought her
cups of beaten lead,
a wedding band
of feldspar and
a belt of climbing ivy.

I am he to whom 
she was promised 
while in the cradle;
he to whom she
was entrusted,
sworn to me she
bears my mark
	inside her: 
a circled star 
upon the shoulder 
of her soul.

These holes in my heart
are of her doing -
see ­ I can put
a finger through them
and feel no pain.

Who sent the wolves 
to hinder me?
Who sent them?
Have I a rival
I know not of?

Blood is my beverage.
Flesh is my bread,
raw on the bone,
tenderized by time.
My bride, come
hear my song.
I am wholly yours,
be not shy of me.

I come to you
pouring the root 
water of desire
from regions of
red land and
human trees,
the supple 
fingered branch,
the double trunk
unbended at the knee.

	Please stop singing­
	I cannot follow you!
	No more of this;
	your song is blight;
	the land itself
	is deafened by
	cacophony, can
	no longer flourish
	beneath the shrill
	of your litany.

I would stop for love
but of love I see
a feather alone
in place of either wing.
Lacking a body which
should lie between
these absent wings,
I cannot choose but sing.

	I am promised to another.
	The sign on my soul
	is not the sign you spoke of.

Another is myself!
See how the scorpion
uncurls to me, losing 
its power to sting ­
see how the waters
that shimmer in the
air above the sand
provide wherewithal
to quench thirst
to none but me?

Do not be shy, come, 
lie down with me;
bride you are,
bride that was
and bride to be,
open your heart. 

	All I hear is
	treason to the 
	tongue and 
	violence to the ear. 
	Release me. I am
	not your bride
	and cannot be!

Bride that was
and bride to be,
salt is my sweetness.
I bend my notes to
the sepulchral voice
that speaks them
in a close whisper
I alone can hear.

This voice is given me.
I must speak it as it is
or cease from speaking.
It is my native tongue,
unknown to any other,
as yours to you, as the
syllables of the moon or
conversation of the wind
upon the face of water.

I take on trust that
coherence of a kind
flows from them.
It may be I am mistaken
but to know for certain
they must first be spoken,
picked over, weighed,
polished or discarded,
informed with a sense
of time and order
not born of them;
one which may, 
in fact, betray them.

This is the course
that defines me 
and cannot be 
traded for another.
I am large for love,
but, beyond that,
desire only in my heart
to be a known thing,
a measure of the
harmony the spheres 
are said to sing 
by those who hear them.

Beyond that
I have no calling,
no desire for
anything except
to learn the laws
of love and then
be ruled by them.

Take this veil and
hide your nakedness,
turn and go where
moon birds bleed.
You are not dark
enough to breed
the seed of light in me.


Who beholds you best
beholds you dawning.
I am distant now
from morning things.

Dimly, if at all,
I see them as
reservoirs of
useless vivacity
doomed to certain end
and fresh beginnings.

Torrents of long standing
leave clear puddles
alongside pools of murky water.

I avoid the clear,
it makes no sense
to view with such
relentless circularity
what seems too
plainly to be seen.

Eyes have other uses.
When vision serves memory 
it bends its labor
to a restless sorting
among forms. Let it
linger nowhere,
passing quickly
without pause to name.

Let it learn what it learns
and, learning, forget, as it
sweeps from stone to star
across the vertical horizon.

Here is a bowl of
bright blood oranges
invisible to me
since I do not 
hunger and have 
no wish to paint or
otherwise preserve it.

Here is a vase of buds 
too blue for the eye
to capture, yet
I have seen them
from some corner
of my vision.

Speech offends
but must be spoken
to thaw the spirals
of memory frozen
by fixated vision;

must be spoken if only
to see the old significance
weighed against the new,
and in so doing rescue
and redeem what
is common to them both.

Then there will be
seed for song,
reflecting on the face
of eternal ice
the form and substance
of the bride, quick eyed
beneath a circlet of
witch willow and oleander,
standing at the gates of Summer.


Robert Hunter - 1992

background:Henri Rousseau
"The Dream of Yudwigha"