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II

SPLURGE 4
Bosch's Paradise (detail)
Color spread over the grass
& covered All That Never Was

Shape took up measurement & bent
World below The Firmament

Size for its sake grew up to be
The Vast Expanse of sky
then dwindled till the naked eye
could hardly Such Wretch see

and God, who watched how All Growth turned
from Woods/to Ash/to Woods/& burned
allowed Th'Hosts of Heaven weep

then slowly folded into Sleep:

It's a mistake to pause & stare
on all The Action going there
in hope such Splendid Frozen Show
will make us think enough To Know:

Sight's satisfied with any Spring
which spreads its elementary Splurge
(and Hunger's easily appeased, or any urge,
with a smart bite from anything)

^{4} For man to assert that a supposedly eternal god "did this" or "did that" is to saddle such a god with a human punch clock (card & the rest) and force him to be on time (human time). An obvious absurdity: Any truly immortal god, even if he does everything, need not do it at all (at any given time at all) throughout eternity, and nevertheless yet accomplish it [All] "sometime" ... a "smart bite" from me. [2] Nothingness before existence. [3rd stanza] God, eternal and without any qualification should not really experience our mortal urgency. [penultimate stanza] "to know": alongside us, animals look upon all that we look on, yet they do not KNOW. I do not imply that God is a shiftless supreme being (especially as a personal attitude of mine), since I try never to put on display my own superstitions (just on principles). I use God but as every man might: as a convenient excuse (God typecast). But this poem is not about God (he just happens into the work, stumbles into it, I assure you). The artist depicts his scenario and then draws the focus to a specific point framed by all the rest (even out of center). The Moral Statement is our simplest (and perhaps our oldest) form of art: preaching the sermon of the individual seeker's quest (the voyage of self-discovery). Well, is it not outrageously pretentious of me to present the obvious (to practice the religion of the cliche)? Truth is the ultimate cliche; and the American language 'feels' more honest (than English) precisely because Americans can't seem to slap together two sentences in a row without squeezing at least one cliche into them. I need only arrange the appropriate angle (of reasonable originality); in this case the contention that the distraction which (because it happens to be the exception from the general rule) defines its limits [gives us a handle on its nature better than any vain attempt to define the undefinable generality of such things]. Man must grab for that which is within reach (all those imperfect articles of reality we might otherwise disdain because they are theoretically not perfect enough --or absolute enough-- or obvious enough).@

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