an age you and I once were, in nanoseconds, inversions of the hourglass, lunar phases, and dog years…
8 ½ -> the sign for infinity turned on end and made to walk all the roads of the earth, accompanied by its little friends, one and two.
Inverted eyeglasses. Strange thoughts. 8 ½
seconds is when to open the parachute unless it’s already too late.
8 ½: a large hat. Small shoes. Pellets in the sealed lips of a shotgun shell, paces from the bent palm tree to the pirate treasure, rings before the executor of your uncle’s estate hangs up. It takes
8 ½ minutes for sunlight to reach the earth and dendrites in the brain to survive after the light grows dim and the heart stumbles to a stop.
8 ½ 8 ½ 8 ½
– the title of a partly autobiographical film by Federico Fellini;
– the height in feet of the world’s tallest man;
– sticks of butter in a wedding cake;
– fake carats in a floozie’s sparkler;
– quakes to make seismographs scribble and spans fall.
If 10’s the ceiling and 0 the floor 8 ½ is near the top. 8 ½, as pain, is a lot. You’re crawling the walls. You want a shot.
As a breeze, in knots, it’s enough to unfurl the black and red banner of the departing craft:
Where, William Carlos Williams,
are your patients?
How in the world, the words,
did you escape
wouldn’t a few
more fit? Between curved
blades of obstetric
forceps, the book of birth
and death certificates?
White as the door
are they still
on the heart’s rapid knock,
the hoped-for answer?
Why is your first name
also your last?