Briefly, a Model is Useful

    1.     La Giaconda

    Did you just recall
    your favorite ideas

    “Capers with that?”
    olive oil on mealworms
    (implied narrative)

    Pluvial Lake, come to me

    2.    Bohr atom

    Mist off Lake Michigan—
    we’d been to a movie     or no
          we’d met

    Existence : the street lamp’s
    “spherical cloud of probability”

    Perpetual motion
    (no plum pudding)

    3.    Untouched by human hands

    Lighting up, neurons in a shrub    
    or trumpet shape—

    A reality thing    

    Seaside         wooden blinds
    Sun, water, talking

    “I really can’t swim”     

    4. Condensed version

    Get up, count meteors

    Oh we didn’t

    Sleep of the gods

    5. The Scream

    no personae

    am I getting closer

    keep the Frida Kahlo earrings

    mother waving from her birch tree

    before I was born

    6. A movie called “Agency”

    Grind minerals, make a torch—
           butting rhino gestures

           and what would it be like
    to visit your much younger self?

    “I’d want to put my arms around her”

    7. As you remove the goat heads from my sole

    Moving like a tree—      
                               blue spruce color

    8. ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’

    fog arms,
    sintered bone


    9. “Mark how one string, sweet husband to another”

    two Aeolian harps.

    10.  Rousseau’s “The Dream”

    Polish mistress, blue lotuses. 
    Two lions’ yellow irises.

    His last completed work.

    11.  Love of knowledge

    Illuminator, are we out of coins?

    (’Annah: “Even Jesus went hiking.”)

    12.  Bertrand Russell:  “Thus it is only in so far as we renounce the world as its lovers

    flowers   rocks  birds

    (squarely-built bed, pinecone finials)

    13. “that we can conquer it as its technicians.”

    The sonnet’s fourteen lines
    (a frame capable of enclosing great variety)

    evolve a problem and a resolution

    sometimes using feminine rhyme
    involving words of two or three syllables—

    “sadly”   “madly”  “gladly”

    and now a theory

    14. not against knowing

    everything you thought
    (“not entirely possible”)


    move toward


Mary Cisper's poems and reviews have appeared in Lana Turner, Newfound, New American Writing, PoetryNow, Colorado Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, and elsewhere. Her first collection, Dark Tussock Moth, won the 2016 Trio Award and was published by Trio House Press (2017). A former chemist, she lives in northern New Mexico.