Somewhere en route, after leaving the Raw,
Before arriving at the sign “Fulfilled,”
Perfection there depicted standing still,
Transients are forever fixing a flaw.
Rolling on fixed that’s repaired and motionless,
Past junctures and conjectures, the freight will have arrived
Not having stopped at why it’s pure or how erroneous;
No art disintegrates where parts have survived.
All shows are touring outward, all one-way;
The Troupe of Beauty and Truth doesn’t go in reverse,
Or if revived, then never is known to rehearse,
Though working on the Sabbath, shunted on Sunday.
They lurch over rubble, cores and contingence;
The axles scrape, the windows crack,
Making it impossible to track
By the light of history’s birefringence
Classics from modernity intact.
The greeters wait; arrivals always lag
Through talus and tailings that impinge on us,
And out of the epigonous, epigynous
Immaculate forms are coming from the slag.
NOTES for Students of English
Fulfilled – “Fulfillment” was formerly used only in the figurative sense of doing one’s duty or earning a spiritual reward. In recent usage it has come to mean shipment of ordered merchandise.
Rolling on fixed that’s repaired and motionless – “Fixed” has two main meanings: 1) mended, restored, and 2) held steady. It has many other meanings, including: adjusted; given a permanent or final form; killed, hardened, and preserved for microscopic study; pre-determined unethically.
Birefringence – The refraction of light in two slightly different directions to form two rays and two slightly offset images.
The Troupe of Beauty and Truth – An allusion to a famous line from “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by English poet John Keats (1795-1821):
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” — that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Talus – A slope of rock debris.
Tailings – Residue from the processing of grain or ores.
Epigonous – (Pronounced e-PIG-on-us, “pig” rhymes with fig) Having to do with an epigone (pronounced EP-i-gone, “gone” rhymes with phone), an inferior imitator of a creative artist.
Epigynous – (Pronounced e-PIJ-on-us, “pij” rhymes with ridge) In Botany, describing the structure of a flower, having parts such as the petals and stamens growing from the top of the flower ovary.