The Crime of Poetic Analysis

            THE AUTOPSY

A mysterious beauty, the poem…

Suspicious, curious, fascinated,

we do what we must

to understand. But

analysis of beauty is not beautiful

There is scraping, cutting, and digging.

When whole, it is too hard to grasp.

The urge to take it to hand is too strong to resist.

We must insist. Must scrape, cut, dig

to make it comprehensible.

When at last we’ve seen enough

to satisfy our suspicion and curiosity,

we understand how grand a thing it was intact,

how terrible a thing we’ve done: The autopsy.

Sorry. We should at least have waited

until after it was dead.


But there are autopsies and then there are autopsies…



Of course there are no other things that are not part of the universe.  So there is not “the universe and other things”; there’s the universe and that’s it.  There’s nothing else to talk about.  Anything we discuss is part of the universe, and a very small part at that.   For instance, the solar eclipse…

The solar eclipse looks like a big deal from here.  But universally speaking, it’s not a notable event.  There are stars forming, solar systems developing, galaxies exploding onto and off the scene.  Our solar eclipse is a tiny footnote in the intergalactic news of the day.   So as the moon comes moseying in front of the sun, try to keep things in perspective.



Things seem to keep happening
faster and faster.
That’s the nature of now.
The present zips by
at the speed of time, in a blur
that does not resolve itself until it’s too late
to do anything but watch it recede
into the layered still-lives of memory.
Nothing is as swift as the present.
The future keeps you waiting.
The past keeps you wondering.
The present doesn’t keep at all.
It has no shelf-life, no duration, nothing but its own immediate mortality.
It is and was in one unlasting sentence.
So there you are and were.

(Mike Cohen – Apr 2016)