Carey Scott Wilkerson

The Lydian Mode

The Players
MINOTAUR: a monstrous transitivity.
NŌMOr: a recursive madness.
CHORUS: both authentic and disputed

That we had a mathematics for this
compelled us to wonder what comes after:
logical positivism, plate tectonics, prosody,
slaughter, laughter, a thing in a box, a and a

                               MINOTAUR (moving as through a dérive and held splendidly at the margin)
Chain these rubric games and discourse as else would a mirror thus
warps provably inward, wears improbably out from that which
is modal is a modeling technique is torque is told or cannot have known

                               NŌMOr (interrogating and not strictly committed to the identity of indiscernibles)
Your head is a privileged term.
Witness here certain ghosts of concomitance,
not the figures of astonishment you claim for
history or parlor tricks or scholarly invective
but a coalescence in quadratics, in quintics,
in bubbles and blocks.

                               MINOTAUR (at right angles to moment)
It is under construction. It is constructed as a way into. Is a further a letter. Is a serial and a sudden contour. Under the way as thus onto. And under a play as written in two parts the block. And the bubbles of construal. This one. It is underway. It is a cornered configuration. It is a this, too. Another one. If it is a further evidence of a centered-hexagonal number. Is this a way or if a structure is a letter to. It is the induction of a passage through. And is inside and under.

                               NŌMOr (plural)
The sign is a cut,
as one might imagine the trace
is a habitable zone.

One, seven, nineteen,
thirty-seven, sixty-one,
ninety-one, one hundred twenty-seven
one hundred sixty-nine.

What form, then, the lyric?
other inscriptions, impenetrable the chains
of argumentation

Daedalus was watching when Icarus first attempted secretly to use the wings under the cover of night. He saw his son plummet into the Aegean Sea.

The CHORUS declined to comment and is believed to have suppressed certain evidentiary documents.
                                 |  \
                                 |    \
                                 |      \
                                 |        \
                                 |          \
                                 |            \
                                 |               MINOTAUR (217, 271 331)
is as shadow          |
is as collapses        |
in two                        CHORUS (397, 469, 547)

                               MINOTAUR (convex, reflexive)
A system of clotures and nomenclatures.
A closing of names and improvisations.

It is not a construction. It is never a sum thereto. A way is under the play is a number of some quantity of and a and a. There will have been a labrys, a double plex and axe, a double axe, an act. Is one is the other under the way is unto. A putative and privileged head as properly understood. Is a blocking. Is run through. Is singularly known as never one but indeed a repetition a multicursal vision a falling from an underground a liquid, a dramaturgical plenum, particle inventory draws conclusively the blank.

This is as my own terms will have been,
as your own dream of learning will prove
outside the boundary conditions of what
if is constituted a value, a dead trope
between codes and declensions
and personae, thus intorsions if dramatis

It is a principle of under
or implications of the map

                               CHORUS (under is and reduplicative)
It is an undistributed middle and is
perhaps some vague containment,
parabolic, inflected, returned within and therefore
then the two the bubbles the block.

                               MINOTAUR (writing the letter)

Dear Ovid,

I hate to come on so obvious, but it is I, lurid in the face or phase of your Pasiphae, a ruined mother, like all others; and that much is true to the history as promulgated in Publius Ovidius Naso, nasal, he knows so, an oblivious no-show. Or am I being churlish?

They (oracles, Sybilline strumpets and doomed mail carriers) claim, but in hushed tones, that your loves are typical triptychs: Amores, domestic advice or private ululations on husbands in absentia, your Heroides, or is it simply that you misplace a poet’s sense for the telling detail: poor Medea, Dido, Ariadne, Penelope. Or, to put it more simply: you got your facts wrong. I slice right in-half men who try to sell me on the “comic rule of three.”

True there were others who did not look good in the final edits, but sympathetic sun gods and final-act reversals, improbable evasions from Truth are persuasive only in the context of seasonal festivals. Too bad for you, where I come from, the only difference between a Greek Bacchanal and a Roman Saturnalia is the hourly rate for the Eunuchs. And that is not an “issue of translation.”

So here it is: paired with Ars Amatoria, The Rape of Sabine Women begins to feels like an equivocation on the act of seduction. It is I, my eye in the face of this recursive burlesque, happy enough to see scholars quibble over the curl of my horns, speculate my casual graffito cleaned up for authorial visits (do you yourself ever come around?), or are we just plain bound to Homeric feet, waiting to be told dread mathematica has finally failed and too-theoretical-for-his-own-good Daedalus retired to Rhodes.

And just when you thought it was safe to read the classics again, Icarus lives on in his foolish, falling, provisional sky.

And I have resolved to eat the chorus.

NŌMOr folds the MINOTAUR

Carey Scott Wilkerson, poet and dramatist, is author of two poetry collections, Threading Stone and Ars Minotaurica, both from New Plains press. His play Seven Dreams of Falling premiered in northern summer, 2013 in Los Angeles and is published by Black Box Theatre Press. His play Ariadne in Exile is due in September from Negative Capability Press. He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and teaches at Columbus State University.
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