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HOME > PAST ISSUE > May-June 2013 > Article Detail


Summer Mountain Lightning & Some Music

Brenda Hillman

      Tesla, maker of homemade lightning, put sparks
	in a wall by mistake. He never
   had much of a lover & now they’ve named
a car for him; & now a tanager in the pine
	has perched upright 
      to put itself in danger for a mate.
If, like a fire, that sound had three sides,
    if like a point, a flame, it would be
       pure geometry; such objects that strike you
           as beautiful, you cannot name.  
     Tesla moved to the mountains, began 
shooting rays, sexual Es the hawk gave back,
     into the abstract—days adept 
at non-nothingness—far past a life & its shape. 

		The great resister 
          stays in you, plodding, then
 the blind harpist plays. Between magnetic poles, 
they place a motor made of money
      to drive the horror of an age—& daily, 
these unmanageable patterns, & weekly, 
	the magnificent ordinary.
    The next thing you make will be different.
You stand in the field not yet being 
	struck, talking to nothing, jagged 
      & unsure. You knew this 
when you started the experiment; you wanted
          to be changed & you were—

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