Friday, April 20, 2012

Dark Matter

I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
—Walt Whitman, When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer

Invert the Luminif-
erous Aether—that thin,
clear, gelatinous goo

light vibrated through
in Whitman’s day—until
his day dissolved—we get

another spooky mess,
Dark Matter, filling up
the void between the stars.

Just as impalpable,
but not so moist, this stuff
we now imagine glues

everything together
remains undetectable.
All observational

data to date suggests
there is nothing there:
our models might be wrong.

Maybe. I’ve stumbled
up against darkness
before, at home, in my

own living room. I
back up a step or two
and I always scream, “Fuck!”

Why should I look up
in solemn silence at
the heavens like the dead

do? I explore the world
like an irreverent man,
like an Astronomer.

That’s how I am. I curse.
I rub my foot. I yawn,
“Lux fiat,” when I see

the universe at dawn:
some book of poetry
I kicked into the light.

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