Friday, January 23, 2015



                           ~for Ric

snow on fire cleave the tongue
gas, fruit hanging in the
five-fold vegetal soul

the animal spirit locally unstable
a touch of coal to its lip
a taste of shit in the vowel
of its throat, eternal lovers

drawn in to draw out whole
the story rising in
primeval emptiness unsensed

& it works upon our eyes undoing
& we SEEd again in the nothing
that is not there nothing that is

©2015 Honeymoon Grammar stephaniepope
#ohjDailyWords #ohj #mythopoetics #micropoetry


1. The etymology of gas and chaos

gas (n.) 1650s, from Dutch gas, probably from Greek khaos "empty space" (see chaos). The sound of Dutch "g" is roughly equivalent to that of Greek "kh." First used by Flemish chemist J.B. van Helmont (1577-1644), probably influenced by Paracelsus, who used khaos in an occult sense of "proper elements of spirits" or "ultra-rarified water," which was van Helmont's definition of gas. Modern scientific sense began 1779, with later specialization to "combustible mix of vapors" (1794, originally coal gas); "anesthetic" (1894, originally nitrous oxide); and "poison gas" (1900). Meaning "intestinal vapors" is from 1882. "The success of this artificial word is unique" [Weekley]. Slang sense of "empty talk" is from 1847; slang meaning "something exciting or excellent" first attested 1953, from earlier hepster slang gasser in the same sense (1944). Gas also meant "fun, a joke" in Anglo-Irish and was used so by Joyce (1914). As short for gasoline, it is American English, first recorded 1905.

chaos (n.) late 14c., "gaping void," from Old French chaos (14c.) or directly from Latin chaos, from Greek khaos "abyss, that which gapes wide open, is vast and empty," from *khnwos, from PIE root *gheu- "to gape, yawn" (cognates: Greek khaino "I yawn," Old English ginian, Old Norse ginnunga-gap; see yawn (v.)). Meaning "utter confusion" (c.1600) is extended from theological use of chaos for "the void at the beginning of creation" in Vulgate version of Genesis (1530s in English). The Greek for "disorder" was tarakhe, however the use of chaos here was rooted in Hesiod ("Theogony"), who describes khaos as the primeval emptiness of the Universe, begetter of Erebus and Nyx ("Night"), and in Ovid ("Metamorphoses"), who opposes Khaos to Kosmos, "the ordered Universe." Meaning "orderless confusion" in human affairs is from c.1600. Chaos theory in the modern mathematical sense is attested from c.1977.

2. For snowmen see Wallace Stevens, The Snowman

3.  For the central image of the first three lines see the  January 20th 2015 poem, Mechanical Bulls by Richard Lance Scow Williams

photographs of a cactus
fruits of orange & yellow
taken with a cellphone
the ice on the ground
she sews wool pants
pieced from ones
bought at Goodwill
we watch McCabe &
Mrs. Miller a perfect movie
said Roger Ebert—saddest movie
he ever saw—Leonard Cohen music
she had never seen it—i dreamed a metal
buckle was lodged above my pubic bone as if it were a skull of a bull the shape of a woman’s
reproductive organs—the ovaries fallopian tubes & uterus a history of bulls—secrets of death & birth how Goethe thought five-pointed stars were the preferred shape all of nature there are no sheriffs in this new town a church no one attends is burning fire orange & yellow strips of air pay attention to your violence the machine on the ice mechanics of time Einstein & trains smoke of flesh lugubrious songs of gamblers & whores—i want to see snow in bloom heroes must be fed to time her eyes upon the dimming light her head upon his shoulder life cradles sorrow in a bed of joy the chorus watching the credits roll

© 2015 Richard Lance Scow Williams January 20 mechanical bulls