Where We Are

1.

A splash with Locke
and reason ripples out, washing
a century hence on the far shore that’s art.
Some dwellers there re-see
the received; find themselves
shucking the received.

2.

A century on:
shucking done,
results in.
Abstraction a smash;
verse’s “first heave” immensely more
than holding its own.
Dissonance? Don’t ask.
All understandable. Hadn’t
eyes been abstracting for ages? Hadn’t there been
unmetered speech for eons? Whereas
Schoenberg (like a certain other seer)
was conceiving a New Man.
Which leaves us

3.

where?
In something like the air:
a realm aswirl above
the world it’s an exhalation of.
A finitude, this—
thinning,
in what we parse as stages,
to a black beyond (where Cage is)—
yet inly limitless.
I refer
to the wealth of weather there;
to the way the elements
ever recombine,
resulting in an ever-
generative scene:
as when weather mass
collides with weather mass
and something frontal thunders up, like jazz.
Nor is that all
to these skies being
cornucopial.
For the changing world below them
continues to bestow them
with material.
We’re changing too (a morphing owing more
to helpings of technology
than hits of ideology).
Where we are is where we’ve always been:
in a never-having-been.
(If one that churns eternally within
the ever-having-been.)

Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Parnassus, PN Review, The Hopkins Review and other journals. His two collections are Taking the Occasion (winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize) and What More?.
Daniel Brown

Latest posts by Daniel Brown (see all)

Author: Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Parnassus, PN Review, The Hopkins Review and other journals. His two collections are Taking the Occasion (winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize) and What More?.