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The Book of Infinite Beauty



Written in 2000

In The Glass on the Table

• Circle

• The Saint’s Achievement

• Veracity


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In the glass on the table shone the mountain
in the glacial mirror on the mountainside
shone the sun and moon in their season
and the sky wrapped itself around them both
and at the core was the mountain
and at the mountain’s base the glass

and you picked up the glass to drink and the
mountain shimmered
and as you tilted back your head
the sun and moon swam in their parameters
and as you swallowed

there was a new image aglow in the glass of the
curvature edge of things like a

blade slowly coming down that sliced the
mountain clean off its base and cut the
glass in two and left your
head as sun and moon enveloped in each
other’s gaze your sunlight and your moonlight
entwined on the terrace where we

sat as you placed your hand around the
glass and I could see reflected in its water
the mountain its peak and beyond its

peak the sky in all its splendor
and your face like the sky in even
greater splendor in the


2/ 6

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Who knows God
God knows


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When the saint reached his goal
only a chipmunk took notice
all that light pouring out of his room like a
private aurora borealis just for
and scampered home to tell his wife and kids

For a split second the universe stood still from its
usual flipping back and forth from
existence to non-existence and took a quick
look at itself in the mirror of wonder and wondered
if all its lakes would evaporate all its
peaks eventually crumble all its
tombs keep their tenants cozy until time to
unfold like a magnolia bud into flower

Then it was back to business as usual and ten-times
greater radius of illumination around his head
which later worker ants took notice of and
passed along the grapevine
waterfall water cascading at its usual
pleasure babies getting born in sterile
hospitals at their usual rate

while like a newborn deer our saint ecstatically
stumbling in fields of God’s glory like so many
sparks from a campfire meeting at the
pinnacle of night or the transformation from a
large top-heavy and earthbound thing to something
suddenly aerial and gliding

Our friend gravity becoming here now the
dance master of the spirit’s freedom from it
our saint’s happy stuttering across a very
anti-gravitational threshold in order to
appear to us perfectly normal
saying perfecting normal things such as

those are roses those are thorns

the night on its double axel turns

the forward depends on the backward to

define its place

our life is a split-second of joy before
light descends


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I wonder if I saw Martians anyone would believe me or if I
saw a truly marvelous sight like a
cosmos coming to birth in the clouds like an
exploding egg of redness blown to incandescent heat then
released as revolving planets and moons and even
stars in perfect order throughout chaotic snap and
twist of placement in a background of the
heavens or in the cupped
palm of my hand or the birth of a

wingéd horse from a loaf of bread or a trooping of
fairies from under a downed
tree trunk in the woods during my regular morning
walk the way I saw
Marilyn Monroe right next to me in a crosswalk in
San Francisco going the opposite direction incognito in
dark glasses and nondescript clothes shorter than five-feet-ten but I

knew immediately and instinctively it was
her without makeup and washed-out blond hair rather
unkempt looking down at her feet as she
walked I
knew it was Marilyn though no one else seemed to
notice I wonder if I saw

the end of the world like a cinematic preview hurled up on
the insides of giant atmospheric breakers in the
sky people would believe me if I was the
only one and no one else had
witnessed it and of course
why should they why should anyone believe
anything anyone says unless we have an
absolutely spotless record and are
corroborated as such by handfuls of people the way
the Prophet was God bless him or any of the
prophets who were of course generally
disbelieved and mocked thrown out by their
own people and disavowed though on the
inside of the eyelids of their worlds
clarity threw pictures in perfect focus and
Divine Dimensions absolute decisiveness
later unassuaged unassailable truth told in
plain extraordinary speech

or if one day I saw out of the wall come
a new race of people to take
over from our own people of vision and benignity
people utterly benign of
perfect dignity


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