The Sublime, al revés
If lilies would grow / backwards, /
if roses would grow / backwards, /
if all those roots / could see the stars…
– Earth, Federico García Lorca
I touch through the unknown surface
Slowly beholding the repetition
Of an elevated vantage.
How to scale the fullest feeling of
With my nose. Winged words
Perch on painted lines
Summoning from their frames
Motion. I sit down
Desiring both stir and stillness
Under the yellowed down-stroking light
Of this seasonal cusp.
Splayed in the joint – September –
My body turns inside a stone lumina
Sunlight shimmers through
The ceiling’s plexi-glass orbs:
Installations made from scraps of spaceships:
Bulging eyes make the sky land down
On these alien gray quadrants,
Draw my ears up
To the down-scrapes
Of branches bobbing and weaving,
Boxing with the wind.
The popping lights
Work up their inner Edison,
Lick their glow:
Starry calls for an art of
Earth made strange
Meet landed sky.
Smell Neruda’s poppies
On the green of Rehashing Mythology.
Smell the sweat smeared
On the finger snapping
Photographs at Aivazovky’s blue heights,
Heights I see from below,
A ghost cliff floats
On the horizon of the wilderness.
Could Thelma and Louise be flying just there,
In the beyond of that brush-stroked world
That is not a location
But a place?
A place where maenads
To keep it present.
Is Chavela Vargas crying out of
A dive bar’s speaker system
In the town hugging
That Context-Dependent mountain’s skirt,
Where flickers of light
Suggest human existence?
Is Beatrice waiting
On the other side for me,
Above the Blakean-
Of The Unfamiliar Truth?
At the corner of Truth and Encoding,
The stones’ water stained V
Dangles like a spider’s web.
The V reverses the golden breach
Of Cole’s Expulsion. Moon and Firelight,
Calls to An Agent of Seduction
Across the room.
Paradisiacal / subtropical light breaks
Into a waterfall.
Arctic swaths of white
Downturn the dark.
Paddle towards that
I want to climb into
Hibernate my larvae.
Fiery then frozen temperatures
I want to feel on my skin.
A cold I want to feel so cold
That when I thaw and smell again
The dampness of overturned dirt
Will come on like a howl.
The sublime from in this hole
Roots upturned to the stars
Make the surface the underground.
The sounds of nature dubbed by
The blues of painted permafrost yield
The bubble between your parted lips
Goes Boom like
Blue green blue
Green blue green –
The pattern is broken,
Could go on for miles but
The seasons are upset.
Blue blue blue
Green blue red –
It’s after the end of the world,
Don’t you know that yet?
This poem was written by Rachel Ellis Neyra, Assistant Professor of English