It is not the world but being in the world that pulls ourselves into ourselves. The world is granite, the skin is soft, the balance is challenging: Philippe Petit 1,350 feet above the streets of lower Manhattan walking on a 26-foot-long cable on August 7, 1974. For some people, this is a daily exercise.
I’m not going to say that life is hard. That’s too easy. Too easy to say life. Too easy to say hard. Too hard to say life is easy.
Because it’s not. It’s not even easy when it’s easy.
So what’s a good adjective?
I’m going to say fierce, turn fierce into an adverb, and say fiercely unpredictable.
Like poetry. Isn’t that the prime attraction? To get a taste of something wild? Untamed? Undomesticated?
Poetry is another dimension. Perhaps not the fourth dimension, which is a three-dimensional Euclidean space with time tossed in like a fashion accessory to make a structure independent of any physical reference points - coastlines, laundromats, stars, etc. - but a proceeding, a mode, a mass occupying space in a way that bends our attention, that alters our perception, that trembles in our consciousness like a tendency, a heat.
Dimension is tempting, tempting to say dimension, I won’t say dimension, I won’t commit to anything that scientific or arcane, but something like the fourth dimension, something with the range and flavor of the fourth dimension, maybe even a fifth dimension, something atomic, something inexplicable, something involving energy and whistles, tesseracts and Holsteins.
Is a hill full of cows a dimension? It is if it’s located near Tomahawk, Wisconsin.
In the fourth dimension, space and time are unified in a Minkowski continuum. If masses are sufficiently large, time may fold back on itself. We would have a loop in which we begin where we end and end where we begin. This would result in a causal violation very much like a poem. In other words, a dragon eating its own tail.
We’ve all seen this sort of thing before. The spine, the scales, the loop. The mouth can elude its terminus by speaking. A door swings open. A piano floats in its music. Someone whispers Spain.
This is where mathematics gets salty and brittle, like a potato chip.
Poetry is more like a potato chip. A crisp undulation of carbohydrates, a little frivolous, a little addictive, a little sloppy in hyperbolic rotation, and gently, randomly curved.
One might also mention the bag, the potato chip bag, which is always noisy.
It should be obvious to anyone that potato chips are the product of another dimension. This would be a place where the picnic tables are coalitions of wood joined together by wine and informality.
This is why angels are often equipped with sewing kits. My first instinct in all things is to grip something and hang on for dear life. I leave sewing to the angels. I’m better with a hammer. Better at pounding. Better at humming a Beatles song while putting a picnic table together. Build a picnic table, and the potato chips will follow.
I sometimes crash through myself releasing friendlier versions of pain than the ones I’ve already indulged with pharmaceuticals and drama. This is where doors become important. Open a door, close a door, walk through a door, this is how dimensions are turned into pulp and conversation.
It is by the presence of color that we crumble into the art of being and construct ourselves out of details like age and plumage. It’s a process not a project for Home Depot. There are thousands of variables, all quite random and lovely, lovely in their own way, like maracas and drums, a little scent of hops in the air, humulus lupulus, the drone of an airplane passing overhead, and the hunt begins, the search for that elusive thing called an identity, a name, a coherence, a character.
What chemicals are involved in the perception of space? What are the chemicals of identity? What chemicals need expression as flowers?
There is an insistence to shine. The consonants incline toward problems, difficulties, asteroids and incense. The sentence forms and shivers. A clown appears and punches a Buddhist. The recommendations are unfettered and all the movies are bad. But who cares? The prophecies are still boiling.