Hannah VanderHart

*

ON LONGINUS THE SUBLIME AND PERHAPS MILTON’S BLINDNESS

If the sublime    like a whirlwind
tears everything up    Longinus
then we are so    sublime
as are bulldozers    as is time
and the hands    of toddlers
or it is a tearing up    inside the mind?

And if so how do we distinguish    tear
and tear    and can the reader do it
or must we clutter margins    with
direction    but make them beautiful
with Latin    and an ornate monkey
or two    twining the page?

Or is the tearing up internal    and does
it wreck the sight?    vapors from
the stomach    wringing upwards to
its maker    fogging the windows
of the body    that staggers before
the sublime    Like a whirlwind
it is    tearing everything up.

*

IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT

having met the other end
I have been burning, we

talk, and as it turns out
we are so like each other:

not the first, not primary,
hardly primal, never alone.

We both prefer midnight
to early morning but this

is the hour we were dealt.
Those also serve who run

through the mornings clu-
tching their head, trying

to get a cup of tea before
that great eagle day desc-

ends and snatches what-
ever thing it is you would

like to keep pocketed. This
is an upturned-pocket kind

of world, seams to daylight.
Why would you keep matches

in there. Of what use matches,
of what use candles and slim

cigarettes besides your own
self’s iridescent burn.

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