Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Swells by A. R. Ammons

The very longest swell in the ocean, I suspect, 
carries the deepest memory, the information of actions 
summarized (surface peaks and dibbles and local sharp 
slopes of windstorms) with a summary of the summaries 
and under other summaries a deeper summary: well, maybe 
deeper, longer for length here is the same as deep 
time: so that the longest swell swells least; that 
is, its effects in immediate events are least perceptible, 
a pitch to white water rising say a millimeter more 
because of an old invisible presence: and on the ocean 
floor an average so vast occurs it moves in a noticeability 
of a thousand years, every blip, though, of surface and 
intermediacy moderated into account: I like to go 
to old places where the effect dwells, summits or seas 
so hard to summon into mind, even with the natural 
ones hard to climb or weigh: I go there in my mind 
(which is, after all, where these things negotiably are) 
and tune in to the wave nearly beyond rise or fall in its 
staying and hum the constant, universal assimilation: the 
information, so packed, nearly silenced with majesty 
and communicating hardly any action: go there and 
rest from the ragged and rapid pulse, the immediate threat 
shot up in a disintegrating spray, the many thoughts and 
sights unmanageable, the deaths of so many, hungry or mad.

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