What about filling the MOon? (a NEW! poetic form & a reading of Cummings’ “Puella Mea”


Herefollowing is what I wrote to you when I heard you were looking for some theoretical gambol (tremble/tumble?) concerning my poetical invention, the Empty Moon, a 9-word variation on Jack Collom’s Lune. As the Lune’s 3 lines of 3 words, 5 words, 3 words, acts to translate the Haiku into a form more natural to English than the syllabic Japanese constraint—& it’s interesting to find how naturally one will find the insightful speech of others often breaking easily into a Lune—the Empty Moon’s construction of 3 3-word lines seeks a consistent relationship between the making of language & the dharma art concept elucidated by Chögyam Tungpa as approaching objects as they are. The truncation of the middle line marks an equivalence of each utterance & wants to make a poem that becomes—but is not capable of explicating itself.

The letter I wrote you meant to contain some formal tablature, but as you’ll note, it gets distracted by a bug & a poem & a loop, so here I’ll just express (but not really with the intention of explaining) what is not meant to be quite so complicated as it looks: the symbolism of the lines, acting as ciphers of the Heaven, Earth, Human principle of dharma art, conform to the planetary (or lunary)—Sun, Moon, & Earth, & can be applied in any order. The different configurations might express things as they are in somewhat different shades:

moon earth sunsun earth moon




Blue Bob’s shoes

Miss them so

All the night

(Moon, Earth, Sun)

earth sun moon

moon sun earth





My music foot

At its heart

Pools its loops

(Earth, Sun, Moon)

sun moon earth earth moon sun

Eclipses (Northern, Southern)



According to because,

Cloaked in opal

Wore an eye

(Sun, Moon, Earth/Northern Eclipse)

If there is an underlying principle delining what entails the distinctions between the symbols, I want not to say anything about it except that perhaps the earth line ought to feel like Earth & the sun line ought to seem like Sun & moon might ought Moonlike. You know where gravity has more sway, or light or phasing, orbiting, centering, pulling at your waters. These sorts of sensations might be at play, or you might not think about it at all. Really all you need is 3 & 3 & then 3 again.

But herewhat happened just then     A spider surprised

Surprised me on

My stupid leg


I jumpt at

Stupid ol spider

Stupid jumpt away!


& Stupid forgot

What stupid was

Going to say.



3 words is

The first (simplest)

Thought in symbol             that moves from

One notion into

Whole other notion.

One might say:          1 word rests          2 words move

3 go somewhere.

But I’m personally          far less interested          at the moment

in the movement       itself than I         am in this:       “That is this.     This in that.     This becoming this.   That, becoming, becomes.    Becoming becomes this.  We come in;    we are this.  We go out; we are that. We come in.”

Such are places Where our notions Bare us out. Bear us in. This is not A syntaxing jest Wherein the thought Must really sentence. As in this: “I am lost, We are found.” Where the verb Moves the subject To the state—Or in this: “You get moved, Chair falls over.” Where the verb Places a shadow Of the subject Within the state Into the state.

What happens here? It doesn’t matter, & it does.(First of all, Who really cares? It happens naturally. But it seems Like a place We can sit & we can Try & listen.)


—& also this: “Red red red. White white blue.”

—& also this: “Red, read blue, You blue bed!”

Here, color becomes Something like with, & you become A bare tenderness While nothing moves. Just so, this, if each line Is a becoming—in its form, An Empty Moon With 3 lines Makes 3 becomings, & so—superbecomes. A first fold If you will Of a notion (That of becoming Becoming a becoming).


This morning I   was thinking of   my brown umbrella   as I was   looking at it   through my window   with my coffee   & my Cummings.   Poem: “Puella Mea,”   a love poem   which buries icons   of the lovely, lifts a little   only a little   a new possession:

                                    Keep your dead beautiful ladies      ,so it goes,

Mine is a little lovelier

                                    than any of your ladies were.

& the poem   points to flowers   as a symbol   for the timeless:

(a flower such as the world had

                                    in Springtime when the world was mad

                                    & Launcelot spoke to Guenever,

                                    a flower which most heavy hung

                                    in silence when the world was young

                                    & Diarmuid looked in Grania’s eyes)

& how odd  the flower is,  as a thing  to call “forever.”  If an oak  or a mountain  had been there  near our Diarmuid  & his Grania   then, we know,  it would be  still here today.  But a flower  will always die  & her flower  is a flower  not an exactly  thing what’s in  the mad world.  This new flower  the poem makes  a testament of,  as both new  & long dead, just like, alike. Somewhere in this  is the dead  become also new. But because because,  the poem implies:  change, it is  the oldest thing  the new becomes. The flower is.  The flower was. It is the  flower that was.

& I thought—to my umbrella  out the window—I should come  sit under you  in your shade. So I did. & a spider  on my leg  wrote a letter  in pure surprise.

To the Moon:

Phase is becoming.

Moon moves from

New to Full.


But the moon

really does nothing;

I fill it,


you move it,

we empty it.

We do this,


(have always done):

make the moon

be a thing.


Moon is not

anything at all—

Moon is empty.


Moved is moon

when we moondle;

we are moondling


when we move.

When we moon,

the moon moondles.


It is not,  the Empty Moon—as a form—static in emptiness. Nor is it  a brick pile  awaiting your blueprint. An Empty Moon  it simply asks  that you fall  into your nature  as a writer,  as a reader,  as a human  rea write being; as one who  makes one’s moons  & fills them  without ever blinking.  Fall & fill, as you will, any size room  with a moon  of any phase  that you see.  Not the time, nor ample space, nor materials around, for us to  make each moon  from its base  to its tip,  nor even try  a little twist  in the tale. An Empty Moon,  well, it becomes.


Spider was found.                     I jumpt again,               (I will not)

This time hanging                    but next time                No reason to.

from my hair.                           I won’t jump                I won’t jump.


So then why

in my nature

do I always?


Douglas Hofstadter studies  video feedback loops  to understand consciousness.  Of the mind, to truly unbury—what we are: When one loop,  as he observes,  encounters the gaze  of another loop, each loop incorporates  into the other. So we know, one of another, by becoming other  in a segment  of our loop.


An Empty Moon

is a loop

& a loop


can be useful  with our listening,  with our looking.


Here, I am  using Empty Moons  to read poetry  (but the form  is pretty versatile.  All you need  to do is  point at anything. Need not make).

A reading of/ the Cummings Poem/ that I mentioned:

[I like the way taking what is there & reading it for what seems there pulls out from, comes close to. For instance, it was nice to notice how the speaker’s love is mentioned first as mine, & lovely ladies ladies are a lovely are they lovely? The combinatories of the more prone-to-Moon gestures see how many times the flower is a flower, is frail, & such. & how she does not come in as some hyperbolic demolisher of the old beauties, but…just… perhaps a somewhat nicer than the great ones known to all. A little…  The way what is, is. A comment may come from, but it is noticing, more than making much of. Noticing—but a little]:


Harum Omar & Master Hafiz

                                    keep your dead beautiful ladies.

                                    Mine is a little lovelier

                                    than any of your ladies were.


Dead & little                                         …only a little

Keep mine anys                                         keep your dead

Of your were…                                     beauty, & mine.


Ladies lovelier than

Ladies lovelier than

Yours or mine.






                                                April feet like sudden flowers

                                                & all her body filled with May



& sudden flower

Filled with May

All her flowers

All her flowers

All her feet

All her flowers

All her flowers

Filled like feet

Like sudden feet

Like sudden feet

Her body filled

Her, all flowers             Her, all flowers

& all feet

& all filled


& all filled

& sudden like

May with April


May with April

Like her feet,


Her sudden flowers.



                         so pure surprise

(it were so very new a flower

a flower, so frail so glad)

as trembling used to yield with dew            so it were

so so frail

glad as trembling

glad as trembling

new with dew:

surprise a flower




surprise a flower,

so glad dew.                             so yield to

so yield to.                                so frail so

so very so


so very so

so were it                           a flower trembling

a flower trembling        a flower used

                               a frail flower

a frail flower

trembling with surprise

a new flower                                         a new flower

were so used

so it were.





Thus herendeth thus I offsignator,





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