The moss of dead bark falls
through the meadow grass,
scattering red dragonflies.
Bony driftwood branches
listen to the passing clouds
and hold their breath.
Sleeping love is a
crescent on the sofa—clutching
yawning pages to her stomach.
And the little trail
is still thirsty
A Combine for Everything
I’m all levers and fly-wheels, blades and abrasives, vats of solvent, anodes and cathodes
Lurching forward I spin and wrench and consume, untying the knots of all matter into bright colored
filaments as fine as light.
Animal vegetable mineral mental malleable—
fibers stripped of their oils and contexts, suitable now to spin into something convenient, intelligible.
Spin wine. Spin clothes. Spin myth and doubt. Spin factions huddled.
Spin rational argument. Spin agriculture, gravitation, law, language. Spin frameworks for spinning.
Part of me spins and devises—most of me reaps.
For large blocks, I leverage proof against ignorance. Wedge my sharp edge into fissures between
mountains and ideas, and heave till it’s only rubble and filament. Raw mass for spinning.
Then one day, I snap.
One day stop.
I spit a piston into my fuel line, topple an acid vat, and suddenly stop.
Still hot and vibrating for a time. Outgassing, clicking and clattering down slow, one component
nestling into another till all is cool and still.
Still magnetized and sharp, dangerous.
And now less.
And now not.
Now brittle and soft, shriveled and brown where once I shone, oiled and keen.
Dead, but not dead. Dead to my task, but somehow alive. For what?
Long before I know, that matter I harvested last—pried up, pulled down, uprooted,
decapitated—begins to rot inside and all around me. Transforms.
At a glance I am a hill of mushrooms, vines. Home to insects and birds. Until one day—my reaping
eyes still staring, still pondering—I am just so.
A self-assembled heap. Unspun.
Griffin is a test engineer in Los Angeles. He tries to break things—software, stories, syntax—to make language stronger.