Formulas

Formulas

I.

Upon a given principle
or from one—so it’s taken—
Upon a set of principles—
or from it—or a doctrine,
or a law, a book of laws,
a science,
or philosophy

Is constructed or deducted
(mathematics misapplied)
a thought, an act, a life entire—

Reality
unrecognized
(Conceived without perception,
exploited unexplored)
Invisible
Inviolate

  ***

I use formulae to figure things:
I look through some abstraction
—sometimes a purpose
—sometimes a new perspective
—sometimes time, immediate, or future
—sometimes it’s a sensuous awareness, say, a person.

Sometimes as I fumble for a balance
and glance aside unsurely,
I catch (as in a mirror) a reflection
of nothing that I recognize.

Then I feel the struggle
of things credible
against things as they seem,

And I am dizzy
with the depth
of nothing to hold to.