Issue 16 · 2012




Video Glass


by Scott Keeney





The way a moment is closer to eternity than a year,

there’s silence in the commotion after an explosion—

the dream of a distant land as pointless and ephemeral

as a weekly newspaper. I remember when video tapes

were building blocks. In the current intellectual climate

atheists wake in the middle of the night startled by flags,

a landscape of horses and birds on fire. On my knees,

black hood over my head, I might see things differently.

If the stars came out only one night in a thousand years

over snow globe America, if my teeth were brighter than

they used to be, if the idea of fullness weren’t so vacuous

as to undermine the merely positive, we might be free

from the narrative of the supernatural which manifests itself

in explosions and mourning and attempts to counter

What? To jump in the fire of philosophy and pay the bills

on time suggests a certain thrift of imagination, a failure

to find meaning in the submission of self-identification

to gradual loss, which is to say a success, less solace

than threat, in that angelic magic, the idea of it, that wraps

its car around the telephone pole of our consciousness.

But in the burlap dark, one must decide, God or no God,

the relative value of life. That is the authority of physics.

In a cobweb of language, the mind turns; true education

begins on a sleepless night. You dance through the Still River

to a landscape of horses and birds on fire as if by design.

Beautiful accidents, spontaneous violence, nothing exists

apart from quantum instrumentalism that’s not abstract.

Entropy. Threnody. Kenosis. My God. Chacun ses goûts

malaise. Let’s go, you, me, and the baby, all the way

to The Origin of the Species back before the last big crunch.

In the Freudian model of yesteryear I’m talking to myselves

again. Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz. Standby for shrapnel.

Often I permit myselves to return to those memory blocks

of mine, if only for one throat-clearing moment at a time.










Scott Keeney’s work has most recently appeared in The Boiler, Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, Everyday Genius, Gobbet, Truck, and UCity Review.