Winter 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2001 |

Archaic Notions

Time, then, and the heavens came into being at the same instant in order that, having been created together, if ever there was to be a dissolution of them, they might be dissolved together. —Plato, Timaeus I used to open drawers by focusing my attention on the knobs, But I stopped doing this because it made people nervous. Actually, I never looked long enough to open anything Or move a piece of furniture an inch, but because I believed   It was possible, I could live in the world. My greatest fear Was of being discovered—though I never imagined the details Of the aftermath, my irrevocable exile, due less to impatience With fantasy than a general tendency to forget trouble easily.   Belief in my power persisted, untested, after my conversion To the scientific method; and the magnetic pole of abstraction Only served to complicate the problem, distancing me further From common sense: for example, if the properties of a feather   Allowed it to float in such a

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