• Maleea Acker

Flying West After Einstein on the Beach


This poem has to do with flying back over North America a few summers ago after having seen Einstein on the Beach, a Phillip Glass opera.

Flying West After Einstein on the Beach

Anvil clouds ratcheting up the uncertain line

where white distance meets blue. Before the mountains,

stripes and squares of farms, the occassional, reckless

disorder of rivers. Rivulets muscle into the plains

intimate with wind farms and pump jacks,

crops throw their back into the dark folds and flow.

I am caught between the love of an opera

and the sadness of the fields. The music thinks itself

mosaic, an ever-shifting pattern: light, numbers,

foliage, the advancing parade of punctuation.

It grows ornamental as conversation

on the shortest night, on a balcony bar,

a tree lavish between deck

and midnight blue. For five hours the world

on the edge of its chair.

To repeat the phrase, the rap on the door,

the studied breath, until one is let in. I don't know

how notes measure again form. I don't

know how tone in its waver

is so unflawed, even without the violin's meander. Or how,

even as the insisting erasure of a hand can charm cloth -

like a field, like a continent of fields - the hand also remembers

the earth's strangeness, all its feral, uneven darkness -

This is about stories left on the table, all of us

leaving, forever waving like siblings

as the plane retreats into the wings.

To learn more about Maleea Acker's work please visit her website here.

#flying #west #earth #coordinatessociety

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