Eye Exam

Picnic Technique

Moistly dripping sap
pilly this juicy gusto
pudding wasp crust
paper crisp in cut grass.

Sara Monaurally

The staked sapling at the gibbet
           gallowed
     silent squirming wail.

Fit For a New Hat

  1. When you measured my head
  2. blue eyes saw yonder
  3. sea anemones in tide pools
  4. I wanted to hug you but with
  5. the magnifying tape around my head
  6. ironically did you order
  7. the hat anyway?

Flashing Lights and Floaters

So tiny she climbed up through my nose and into my eyes and swam around
in the vitreous liquid, kicking off my retina.

Such a big name for so tiny a doctor.

“The lights are like paramoeciums falling like electric rain drops
white paisley sparkles on a flat black poster board
down always down never up in the far corner
of the right eye,” she said.

“Yes, I see them,” I said. “There goes one now,
like strobes.”

“It is still somewhat ambiguous,” she said.
“Asymmetrical.”
She had an accent to my ear.
“Let me drop in some dye
and have a swim around.”

High up on the top floor a magnificat view of the streaming
river and tiny cars floaters across the gargantruss
ginormous gargling cement girdles of the fat city.
Straight down where they build the barges
always the two blue cranes shifting
imperceptibly
an orange crane I’d never seen there before.

When she photographed my eyes
I saw faces like on the veil of Veronica
but morphing shapes
and a Trinity:
The father seemed bored, the little kid,
annoyed to be kept waiting,
flitted about like a ghost,
and the mother sat quietly slumped
over in a chair, resting, as if
keeping me company while
the dye spread out my eyes
into two flat brown oceans.

15 Comments

  1. Fascinating.
    From paramecium – to the eye – to …
    High up on the top floor a magnificat view of the streaming
    river and tiny cars floaters across the gargantruss
    ginormous gargling cement girdles of the fat city.

    Bridging dimensions across scales – a term with an interesting epistemology – morphing into new perspectives.

    1. Thanks, Ashen. And then I had wear pitch black sunglasses for four hours and stay away from words. With what gargantrust we grow to specialize in the pigsty city! What immortal hand or eye could frame the body’s fearful symmetry?

    2. Oh, to have seen what Blake saw! There was an angel sitting in a chair. I knew it was there, but alas I could not see it with my eyes, but I saw it, nevertheless. I saw no image but could feel the shape and presence and movement.

  2. Mr. Joe: Forget Lincoln logs, there should be Linker logs on the market. This post is certainly timely for me. In 2005 I got lasik surgery, being very near-sighted, everything a blur in the distance, and after the surgery had crystal clear vision, and I was going good with good eyesight until recently. When I was in Chicago in a bar watching the Stanley Cup playoffs with family, and was squinting to see the score and stats, and to locate the puck being passed around and bouncing around, I then realized,” Ah, gotta go back to the eye doctor.” Just last week I went to the optometrist and had an eye exam, and my eyes have reverted back to being near-sighted, but not as bad as before I had the lasik surgery. Gotta get some eye-glasses again. I’m wondering if I should go wire-rimmed or thicker, I haven’t decided. Ah, the vanity.

    As usual your word-play, your sense of the inherent music in words, is delightful and has made me smile, loving your playful inventiveness. That’s you in the photo, right? All bathed in orange light and looking groovy.

    P.S. I got floaters too. Damn things. But objectively quite interesting, a translucence, jellyfish in my spherical bowls.

    P.P.S. Love Ashen’s poetic observation with the glee and laughter of children in it on a waterslide squirted out of the tear ducts.

    1. Hey, John. Yes, the eyes have it. I think you should go with the John Lennon style glasses. I find round lens in reading glasses preferable to rectangles and squares, the frame, something more symmetrical, not as distracting. Yes, that’s me, but a long time ago! Days of surf and folk and beaches and jazz. I guess I should have worn sunglasses. Eyes are fluid and malleable, soft and gooey. What immortal hand or eye?

      1. Come to think of it, Joe, this is most impressive, rich in possibility, not only lightly humorous, but quite serious too, containing what could become a book with sections written by you. Your own particular genius is in this! It’s very exciting to think of what this could become through the exercising of your own visionary power. Man, I’d love to illustrate such images you capture in this.

          1. I just recognize a great unifying idea in this, which potentially pulls together all your poem-and-thought experiments. Everything is contained in this idea, an excellent device for shifting between worlds, in a sense Joycean but also shot through with beams of Blakean light (I even detect Rimbaud’s Illuminations, a bit of Rabelais too, some Lewis Carroll, Ee cummings & Wallace Stevens), moving from microcosm, motes or grit in the eye (or punctuation theory – visual animation poems), and floaters seen inside (poems in another sense, followed into dream, shadows cast) and through the eyes to stark reality and Concrete Poetry out to the macrocosm, back out into the universal, shifting between worlds, as you already do. This is just an observation of what I see already there. Is there not the glimmer of an epiphany in this post of yours?

            1. Ah, gargantua comment, John. Meanwhile I’m panting, no grueling away on the next piece. You’ve seen this sort of thing? The irony is found in the title, “The Known Universe.” Is it past tense, then? But what we know about the universe is nothing.

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