This poem is in response to a framer who asked me,
"What would Michelangelo say to all the short cuts taken today?"
A hat in the gutter rolls by. It is the hat of free speech.
Michelangelo acclimates to the new, throw away age.
Irreducible units of image crystallize.
The sculptor removes channel by channel.
His chisel slows the dance
of the gods and ciphers the weight of time.
Channels are erased out of the parchment back into the stone.
He scrambles to be conspicuous in the ambient light.
The men of a priceless puzzle, drawn urgently,
land somewhere in rooms.
Hours, difficult in staying on task, replace mindless minutes.
The conditioned response, examined every second,
yields portrayal of pattern and possible shape.
Athena waves a bowl of fruit from a crate of fruit.
In method, meet requirements. Accept no completion.
Then all rules are complete. In a world of construction,
carry only what you keep.