Poetry March 2011

Mahamudra Elegy

Then emptiness grew more empty,
the scent of scentlessness.
       How could it be?
When emptiness is that which can’t be

emptied any more, neither malicious nor
       a state that welcomes us
with munificent alohas.
I fingered it like an incision, fondled it

        like a rosary of thorns, thinking
if every instant holds
the maximum abridged, tranquillity must be
       somewhere in the mix. So concentrate.

A live volcano is the recommended site
for certain meditations. Think time
       exists because a dropped glass
breaks and here we are existing,

witnessing the ornaments,
       decorative yet dear. Mundanities
that dazzling seem extruded by a star.
       Stellifactions. Mahamudra.

Words to conjure with. The great
seal, great gesture, the mahamudra
       holds snowflakes to their certitudes of lace.
While fire thinks fire

is what everything aspires to, time thinks
       through its helpless locks: its ambergris
flocked with a sailor’s buttons, its mud wasp
buzzing like a mini vac. Every solid is a clock.

Presented by

Alice Fulton’s recent books include Cascade Experiment: Selected Poems (2004) and The Nightingales of Troy (2008). She teaches at Cornell University.

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