Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

the angle of history

What symbols shall we use now to describe the end of time?
The old ones are dessicated and impotent;
the eagle plummets from its gyre;
the hollow man totters in his wasteland.

Time reaches its apogee and the world shudders imperceptibly
as its momentum shifts to adjust for the angle of descent.
We are not in the time of the fall but instead are merely mundanely
sliding down the slope of an unimagined history.

We plunge down this history without coordinates,
benjamin’s angel tumbling behind us
along this history without end;
this history without significance.

We confess that the future is a construct to comfort ourselves,
clinging to it as a child clutches her blanket.
Now speechless and stunned in the presence of death,
we reinvent immortality, we become cyborg and virtual.

Long-ago, poiesis sufficed but now we makers defy death
by becoming that which we make, impatient to rise again,
resurrecting the old myths of rebirth and regeneration,
disdaining to ask what manner of monster arises from our ashes.

We design ways to penetrate time and space.
We elevate our tools as icons, their use as sacrament.
Machines appear to us in our dreams
and we put them on as once a bride donned her gown and veil.

We lay down upon the altar of technology,
offering ourselves as sacrifice to an unknown god.

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Oklahoma. Her most recent collection of poetry is the award-winning Work Is Love Made Visible (West End Press, 2009) She is the Editor of Mongrel Empire Press and a member of the faculty of the Red Earth Creative Writing MFA.

(author retains copyright)