Commencement


The notebook (I gave you, I have it, as I
kept my own) so very few
pages, light-blue, fine open hand, no time
(to follow the lines--quick, the drawings, quick the
numbers (check, argue--quick) the
questions, the questions, the questions, the
wonder, the goddamn real)ization,
the rigor, the beauty, the structure, the discipline, the
dreaming, the strategy, the marvel of ironclad
reason (taste it) (taste it)--Nothing (dis-
covery--taste) (it) can (ever, ever) be
the same
again (breathe, breathe

(listen--later, we heard silver atoms, Tom--silver atoms,
darting over silver crystals--just an accident--rhythmic, deterministic,
perfect signals (our hands, stained until the skin wore off,
our hearts in our throats, our breathing quick and shallow)
silver metronomes beating, beating, beating
green-blue traces (we were
burning with fever for weeks), dancing on the 'scope
(oh, look, Tom--stochastic, but perfect, not the white noise
we expected, but
silver tones, harmonic) and the numbers were so
beautiful, Tom) (beautiful, Tom, you would have

breathe)
deep, cool nightfog,
last run for bitter cappuccino,
chocolate chip cookies,
shiver back to empty lab and journals,
reprints, trading back and forth your
light-blue pen to scribble, (no time)
red-eyed dreaming (hoarse, light-headed, Jesus it was) on
and ever on until the light and then
bright, metallic clarity of
vision

(listen--there are seven people living new and all
your (silent, silent, silent) students capped and gowned,
forgetting their farewells)

bright, metallic clarity of
vision) and
purpose
clear and still. Breathe, the
sun is starting to show in Strawberry Canyon
(the jasmine is overwhelming).


-- For Tom Martin



JDP 97/05,12

Copyright John D Porter © 1997



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