THE FLOATING WORLD

The way the window, with its watery flaws,

Floats suspended in the bath,

As accurate as what the daylight draws

Across the glass's leaded path,

 

Or what the eye attempts to pull,

On getting up and peering closer,

From the outside world's original

Which now seems somewhat grosser,

 

Too plain and flattened to be very deep,

Lacking motion, vagueness, pigment,

Or the quintessential surface creep

That separates reality from figment

 

Like windows, sky here also floats,

In this case on the crystal sea,

Distinguished only by the boats

Scattered in infinity:

 

So between the lapping copy and the real,

The undulating xerox and its static master,

Only accidents of light reveal

Which the sculpture, which the richer plaster.

 

March 18th and 19th, 2002

Tippet Alley