A MODEL OF THE UNIVERSE
by Norman Fischer
What we want is a model of the universe
that includes everything, leaving nothing out
Yet is completely different, fresh, unique -
Holding nothing in common with any of its constituent elements.
Yet is not strange, exotic and does not make us feel uncomfortable.
What we want is a model of the universe we can read about
In a magazine article with pictures.
Yet it can't be just another magazine article and it can't be in a regular magazine.
This magazine will glow as it shimmers before our eyes.
What we want is a model of the universe that will answer all our questions.
To which we can refer for all sorts of advice.
To foretell the future, cure bursitis, get rich quick aphrodisiac, etc.
And will be absolutely foolproof one hundred percent of the time.
What we want is a model of the universe that we can talk to coyly,
We can droop our eyelids at, plump our lower lips, begin the sniffle,
And it will pat our shoulders, say "there there dear", grow sad and droopy itself,
But without ever really losing its composure or assurance.
What we want is a model of the universe so complex we can never understand it.
So simple we can grasp it in a glance and explain it to our friends via a few simple sentences.
What we want is a model of the universe which once in our possession becomes
Identified so strikingly with us that we become internationally famous, our names
Household words, the meaning of our doing and saying an eternally living legacy
Around which all subsequent culture is organized.
What we want is a model of the universe we can count on time after time,
Yet is never tiring, never predictable, eternally new.
What we want is a model of the universe that is better than
Someone else's model of the universe.
That makes their model of the universe look really pale by comparison,
Although only we realize this - we and our intimate friends.
But our model of the universe is also better than the
Model of the universe of even our intimate friends.
Although the fact of the matter is that no one but us really
Possesses a model of the universe. It is our own little secret.
However, we write poems about it that strike others as
Infinitely suggestive and profound, but since this makes us feel lonely
We want a model of the universe that everyone understands.
We want a model of the universe that explains everything,
Yet doesn't take the mystery out of anything, in fact adds mystery
Even to the simplest of daily actions.
A model of the universe that keeps us fit and eating delicate and healthy foods.
A model of the universe in which we appear never overweight nor old.
Yet we don't want to actually appear in this model of the universe.
We want to be beyond it, holding it in our hand, looking at it from a distance.
Yet we don't want to feel alien from it either - we want love.
We want a model of the universe in which we can always stay home,
Yet be able to travel whenever we want to remote places.
Where all foreign languages are actually English,
Though they never lose their ethnic charm.
What we want is a model of the universe contiguous with the total shape of time,
So that it neither begins nor ends, is neither something nor nothing.
What we want is a model of the universe in which this poem therefore never ends
And in which it never began.
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