E I G H T
Not a search, then,
nor a quest nor odyssey. Rather, a kiss
or caress. A repeated thing.
A passing repeated thing.
A straightforward transposition
of a simple expression
of a complex thought. Complex thinking
about time, humor, love.
Plain expression, like a sneeze
or cough or yawn. Or like breathing.
A transposition nearly one-to-one.
A self or soul. Words.
On Thursday mornings,
Professor Martel cleaned his apartment.
He dusted throughout. Mopped the floor.
Scrubbed bathtub, sink, toilet.
On Thursday afternoons,
Professor Martel shopped for supplies.
During the rest of the week
he accumulated a list:
Paper towels, bread, soda, candy,
sandwich meat, straws, soap four ways –
washing soap, shampoo,
laundry detergent and dish washing soap –
and cans of soup, stew, beans,
corn, peas and Mandarin oranges.
The list, never a repeated thing,
flexed like breathing – short, long.
itself a vastly accumulated
a primitive opening, a touch
to ancient patterns expressive themselves
of ancient, deep thoughts.
Thursday, a Sabbath of sorts,
sectarian, with self for soul,
supporting Professor Martel’s
A mysticism not light-based
or dull. A mysticism
of accumulated repetition,
and mysterious only
in its pattern recognition.
This weird calculus
for juggling conflicts. Intrusive patterns.
Three senses and a self. Four somethings,
four somehows, four somewheres.
I loved these repeated things –
cleaning, shopping and all the rest.
But cleaning and shopping
expressed a special kind of thinking.
A nonsensical religion.
as a repeated thing. Civilized
temples. Shop and shopper.
Civil self. Clean shop and clean shopper.
Too, I loved the timeliness
of this fun love. It touched my work.