The Mother of Pearl is the inner layer
of several sorts of shells. It is not the mother
of pearls as the name might seem to indicate,
but in some cases the matrix of the pearl.
It is a misnomer: as is the frontispiece,
mosaic gold, and the foxglove — as is honey soap,
Japan lacquer, and salt of lemon. You
were bluffing when you claimed that this
was yet another deja vu, that you had looked
into the forest of bees before you ever did,
then just charged ahead on the Green Man’s Path,
but then just ended up, as usual, among
strangers and solicitors — the sleeper cell
was just a bunch of sleepers, held lovingly
in one another’s arms in an enchanted chamber
strewn with the bright green fragments of a giant insect.
If stones could grow grass, grass could perhaps give birth
to men, men to beasts and so on, there would then appear
some strange new kind of symbolism, one more akin
to your way of looking at objects,
where all things become themselves, but more so,
or at least your way of thinking things over,
yawning as they tumble by in the stream,
objects, box-like, unwieldy as box-kites.
Here now, for those who might be interested,
is some biographical information:
Nimbus clouds; lunar caustic; chain lightning;
storms floating in above the petrified forest —
then a burst of cedar waxwings, gray
and pale-yellow. Furthermore, I earned
an F in Trigonometry. I ate windowpane,
tried boiled cactus for hallucinations, and minute stems
accomplished the miracle of sudden blossoming
in bewildering solutions of grapes and eels
and deep forest truffles, and I was served
burnt apple wood soaked in sweetened brine.