We don’t need another world.
And should one come, murmurous with a new people,
so that these words — of Constantinople — in this tongue
will be the sea’s far-off roar in a tiny shell
and all our vivid, ringing hours grow muted,
negligible — like the toybox towers of Ilium —
we would still have lowered our hearts deep into their hearts,
where they would drag along the salty, oozing bed:

Here comes another silence. Your eyes are open
and then closed. Here comes another vision.
The wounded Christ upon the cross — two legionaries
in canary yellow armour — the sea of people and,
to some, the figure all futures are nailed on —
or the dainty sailboats of the Commodore, and our idea of space,
the secret stretched canvas all journeys are painted on —
hush — she’s sleeping — cast loose on a nothing we all float upon —

Good Thief, Bad Thief; Heaven, Hell; Rhine, Neva, Tyne and Thames —
and don’t forget the Jordan, or the Tiber, or the Nile.
River with three banks, on it flows
dhaos or wherries or steamboats — milky streaming lights —
Byzantium — a carousel — round it goes
tinkling like the shimmering chimes of old Kyoto: rosebud.
This is the one-thousand-and-second tale,
though it will take an age to tell;
soon, we’ll have to rouse her again —

The heart is a bullet — why does it appear
to pass so slowly? It seems to glide
through the air, dreamlike, sometimes,
as if you could pluck it in, and hold it — fast —
in the palm of your hand. Speed of thought and
speed of light, like two cymbals clashing, we yoke
both halves of the world together in a single sphere,
such brilliant, liquid, egghead philosophy.
Pigments, mules — the painter prepares his cross-hatched Christ,
whisking up the tempera —
or gilds the letters on the soldiers’ shields:

The Emperor of Thought, the ancient angel of cognition —
sleeping, he lies on his side —
rip-van-winkle-ised. Apollo is born. The Eternal City rises.
Hiroshima — a sound of rushes by a shimmering river — falls,
then rises. God dies. Two children
are menaced by a nightingale. London rises,
then burns, then rises again. It all possesses
the depths of an eyelid — the Emperor of Thought
lies sleeping on his side. But why not wake him?
It only takes a single sound — the murmur
of a single child — of an unravelling crowd —
or the heart’s bullet, caught in my hand —

No other moment but this.

No other moment but this.

No other moment but