the bright gods
seesawed sight
against all odds
between the light
cones and rods
slipped by sleight
around the border
of the eye’s
myopic order
to disguise
upset stasis
from rightside up
inverting bounds
so that the sky
is really
upside down
and what’s high
is on the ground
dull to gilt
lull to lilt
so what ought
to be
the night
is a planet
with light
and our bases
are where
our faces
should be
where high places
drown at sea
and our minds
that cyberspace
is in the room
and the moon’s
to the oasis

San Francisco
April 13th, 2010

October 25th


Because the front part of the eye is curved, it bends the light, creating an inside-out and upside-down image on the retina, which is how we see reality. The brain eventually turns the image the right way around. What inspires it to do this? How does the brain know which way is up, if the eye doesn’t? What is the ethical divide between up and down?

Wittgenstein asked a student if the sun went round the earth or the earth went round the sun. After the student answered, Wittgenstein asked, but what would it have looked like if the opposite were true? It would have looked the same. Observation is no guarantee of truth.

What is the extra information provided to the brain which causes it to doubt what the eye observes? Is observation just subjective, altered by an arbitrary brain away from what is actually seen?

This poem is certainly too clever to be true, or maybe it’s just too true to be clever at all.