The Manifold, Marvelous Contraptions of the Toymaker
Paracosm: there is a world in a world in a world.
Their names like a wet
Lap on the hand from underneath the bed. Sometimes when I look
They look back. They are not like anything
ii. Dear Diary
On the windowsill I leave
Some old world seeds
Like the plucked eyes
Of the gilded statue-boy.
Today as always brooks no
Or otherwise. Outside is
More of the same: the dried
Creek like an unringed
Finger, a fog that has not
Lifted since the Collapse.
In the workshop I pace
And pace, practicing. I’ve
Waited for you. The light
Acquires a crinkled quality
Like papier-mâché. Then:
An idea, like a gold
From the fray of shadow,
A bird with a wound
Key. I am the only one
To glimpse it. Don’t go.
iii. I Will Fashion My Own Unmaking Beautifully
My heart is brass, a piston chuffing hot steam
Of futuristic antiquity. My hands are two
Co-conspirators merging into one beneath
The wrought iron stairs of the night.
I must get it right, get it wonderfully
Right. There will be no mistake: his face
Pared before mine, wood ribbon and dust
Snowing down in a circle, locking us
In. I paint him a brilliant red, cardinal, the same
Tint my eyes have acquired of late.
He will march spectacularly; march, toy soldier,
March like a placebo heart depends on it.
She — the terpsichorean — will dance beautifully,
Dance, muse, dance. Make the world
Whirl as the phenakistiscope of each new day
Around the podium, the ornate stage.
Revolt. Through the window into the bedroom
Down my dream the wind transmits
As much. Tiny, toy-shaped shadows project
Longishly from underneath a door.
They are marching and they are dancing
Without me. I wake, run all the way
To the workshop. I tiptoe to the door and place
My ear against the rubberwood.
In the cup my ear has formed a rich
Resonance fills like the ocean of a conch.
I am in it. There is nothing else. I open the door.
The moonlit room. O my creations
My artifices my thousand face love: all of you
Gone from where you ought to be.
Was I ever there to begin with?
about the author