At Work I Stand Observing My Diminished Self
Six iterations, alike but lessened in sequence, and always in pairs:
front and back, oblique, the two mirrors becoming four, then six.
A perfect mirror reflects and neither transmits nor absorbs light.
Tilting my chin, I accept reflectance according to its distribution.
Retina as transducer, producing neural impulses.
The images consume no space but the effect is of distance.
Vision is not simply the retina’s translation
but counts inference and assumption among its influences.
The sum and product of its parts: 1 + 2 + 3, or, 1 x 2 x 3.
Angles achieve distinctions apparent at each adjustment.
Turning slightly, I detect movement in each replica.
A six-door cubic cage depicting the bondage of sense and elements.
It is possible to withdraw from this frame.
Does the weaker eye perceive less.
Who conceals the shadow’s death.
Is a distal truth a lie or merely implication.
How do you rid the mirror of its ghosts.
What resonates in the echo’s decline.
Did the light switch subvert the blackened image.
Apparition, projection or visual representation.
When do waves not disturb.
At what point does belief transmute sight.
What fixes the mirror’s image.
Who closed his eyes and saw light.
I sip coffee and gaze out the second-floor window.
More light enters my neighbor’s office than mine.
Calculate the difference between illumination and glare.
Looking ahead, I claim no face and recognize no one.
The eye converts a signal from one form of energy to another.
Accepting light from external objects, I perceive reflection as the true arbiter.
The dissected path impairs transduction.
Face as identifier: to make, to do.
Translation: imperfection: diminishment.
Pleasure in Absence of Ending (Ensō)
Thoughtful, proposing not end, but process.
In this noon’s grayness I disclose my need.
Which is a lotus floating in your pond, a clutch of zeros
blooming in moonlight. Last night’s missing sleep.
An ending, by definition, concludes.
But what occurs in a circle’s body, or infinity’s border?
Imprecision acknowledged, I sip wine and gauge distance.
Take comfort in the disorderly.
Starting at the top, the brush moves down and right,
clockwise, then rising in opposition, halts.
Drifting, incomplete, I step back.
Some leave a gap; others do not.
That Number upon Which the Demand Lieth
Overcoming duality, yet binding: the trinity.
Beyond the contrast of two, it initiates the concept of many.
Albertus Magnus claimed that three lives in all things.
In Old Saxon, the month of May is named trimilki, season of three milkings.
Number as quality depends upon the visual field.
The ancient Egyptian sign for the plural requires three strokes.
Lao-tzu said the triad produces all.
Acronyms, sports, and traffic lights reflect our ternary culture.
The devil may appear in the form of a three-legged hare.
Representing the unknowable: I, you, and the beyond.
The figure of completion, the number of the cube.
A Sumerian number sequence began “man, woman, many.”
The scale as a succession of thirds.
Imperfection implies the concealment of perfection.
Shiva’s number, his eyes, his braids, his place.
The triangle in Euclidean space.
I walk the three roads to the commonplace, preferring rhetoric.
Three to through, it penetrates the personal, unhinges that door.
The law; the land;
the world to come.