cuneus + forma

by Brian McCabe




A shame that selfsame vehicle that spirits us away

to the factories of monotony should likewise serve to drag us

backwards to guilt or should that guilt construct

factories of its own spewing virulent pollutants


into waterways and oceans resulting in thermostatic

heating and ice cap melt then much further in debt

we'd find ourselves there estranged from us and thus

restrained under the shadowy weight of six figures


accumulated like a cloud over time, our phantom, our

financial freak-out sending us back to rethink energies

inspiring in the first place without which we wouldn't

be ourselves yet without which it need not be figured


Under the arrangement of digits that flummox

and annoy us, below the loyalty to moneyed surplus

what we become is that which threatens to destroy us

like an ear hears buzzing oceans within a shell

the warnings we fear are the selfsame ones of ourselves

of our vertical need to be first to the heights redoubling

its intractable charm of production— our inheritance





United we stand on top of old laws in search of new laws

the way building the Tower of Babel was a group effort

and our dumb charms remind us we're smaller than the sky


disorganized and selfishly dragging us forward toward

the empty soapbox face that stands in a crowded hall

sad as Eros, builder of cities writing upon city walls


hoping out of consensus emerges a new new: between

here and now and global hysteria imagine these pieces of past

present and what's next to come to be building a new new


the bee dreams-up the flower, the flower dreams-up the bee

but neither bee nor flower dreams-up a statue to Liberty

Or the unfunny kicker that the more money money needs


from us the more monotony likewise serves to employ us

against which our calculations suggest launching headlong 

into selfhood to make room for reconsideration or  re-

calculation: a new voice dipping back to a different

time when villagers baked bricks for a building and hand

stacked stones one by one, Earth's rich resources inspired


construction, reed fringed streams cut across the land

where fruits and vegetables grew, one by one the civilization

between the rivers absorbed nutrients of the land


Wedge and shape pressed messages for materials

into clay tablets and writing was formed & fastened

to the human animal, ancient Mesopotamians thus


constructed one voice still withdrawing deeper into our mind's

gullible  echo chamber sounding a hope for new beginnings

which when you consider it, is ubiquitous in any case




Try and say it the way it is



            Try to remember how it was


Speak without façade

            about the thing as it appears


                        in the city, town, suburb, farm or field, meadow


On a dirt road in Missoula, look at the mountain

            and see how it never stays the same


                                    an axe in Chile strikes  against anthracite

                                                maybe to replace skyscraper steel


            business is booming at the university

                        drawing is dead, take shelter


                                                            Look at a building

                                                                        see the structure set free

                                                            against its backdrop


enter the building

            a view through roof truss

between a sleeping loft and gallery

            a blind, gigantic space

                                                                        or a domain of sticks and wires


                                                            a room on its way to becoming another


                        exists in a perpetual

state of construction— ragged exterior and roof bending

                         down to become a floor—

unfixed, unfinished


                                                            temporal disequilibrium dizzies from within;



Entropy pulls together the materials                                                

            Remember history

                                             symmetricallly mirrored


                                                                                                 Don't forget the future

The building is a figment of the imagination

                                                            that is also tangible—



                                    The further inside you go, the further outside you get




There is only ever what actually happens



                                                Every building imagines a city




See the building is a