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the only beautiful object, event, or abstraction
of any kind within shooting distance of Riga airport
is the spew of a squat smokestack,
a pure grey stream of hot sideshow.
parthenogenetic and progeroid.

a boiled definition, lit to make
many monochromes wash out,
a collective paling, lines breaking, becoming
the static milk-blue back of this, a winter.
beside it snow is mute. clouds don't intrude.

and I could study this! Really; not by eye
or for mere art. Given the itch persisting
I might spend a week with the profound and careful dead.
the vapour painting has a million twins running
the selfsame script of physical law, an amortised script probably known.

on average each twin seen truly.
we found out the world without us. after finding, made it reel.
components written in the flames underneath
choke mutely. my stoichiometrist mate
can code its dead language in a trice.

it solves for seven unknowns, but can be given
in the eternal manner too, since Boyle and Navier-Stokes
who solved mysteries you would have been satisfied with
- are satisfied with, since ignorant amidst free knowledge -
which mysteries I am seen enjoying in the first two stanzas.

macro effects ongoing on the frontages, temperature and health
of Riga etc are knowable but not known and not soon. Off to functions unknown.
Dark guesses nailed on the door. The models lift off, freed from obvious
falsehood by tiny effects in giant interactions, hiding the signal
so we foolishly think what we happily will.

and the present effect - one unit of pleasure and motive
in a youngish half-educated traveller - is known, shakily, in principle,
from parts of its outside: the sparkling in my C fibres or Hebbian knots or GABA wheels.
even the heart may be knowable
given much stronger light and unchristian programme.

in the absence of peak oil, the absence of monkey-wrenchers,
in the presence of the deep absence
that airports consist in, a cloud factory pours.
it ignores my head, dipped in notebook, ignores the folly and doom
symbolism people give it, ignores everything except pressures, gravities, van der Waals
and future soon.


  1. The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
    - John Muir

    mankind has various ways, some of them too technical to register as art, of adding to the store of beautiful created things...
    - Clive James


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