NOTES ON UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMORS

I wanted to deal with incorporeality, immaterialism, the ineffable, the ethereal, the unreal which we experience every day, mainly through weather, colors in the sky, strange light. Other titles I considered were Immaterial, In Nubibus, Impalpable, Unsubstantiability, Indeterminism, and Insubstantiality. I wanted to say something that couldn’t be said, to describe the indescribable.

This is one of my cloud poems, where I imagine the gods being able to afford uninterrupted views where everything is misted, lovers photographed through vaseline lenses, as the pre-Raphaelites imagined gauzy vistas enjoyed only by the Wagnerian daughters of science fiction kings, a concept made recently tawdry by diaphanous starlets in the movie version of Tolkien’s equally cinematic trilogy.

I was watching the changing light over the mountains out the window, and appreciating how untouched it was, a realistic version of infinity. We had just toured a ten-thousand acre ranch where an hour-long drive through divvied-up wilderness ended at the backdoor of four adjoining subdivisions, and I was wondering if space was any guarantee of gentility in our gentrifying Colorado county. The wild west panorama beloved to Bierstedt and Church has morphed into the trophy view, putting a house in the middle of nowhere, thus ruining said view. The taste which covets such purity ultimately destroys it, making such expanses obtainable only to the pure of heart, mountaineers willing to work for their solitude, or indeed anyone willing to edit out subdivisions from their gaze.

The simple views and shifting skies on our ranch every day fill me with awe and indescribable longing, in the best romantic tradition, not to mention the quantum tradition of a parallel universe seen through a warp in time and space, where we create the location of an event by observing it, beauty being in the eye of the beholder, a byproduct of indeterminism or the uncertainty principle. So these inklings of the unseeable may be closer to the structure of the universe than more mundane observations.