Poetry — January 31, 2013 12:14 — 2 Comments

TERRAFORM – Richard Kenney

Then they transformed the air/earth interface
Into a facsimile of the inside of their heads,
Which had been landscaped over evolutionary time, perforce,
By the shape and sharp of the world outside. So far, so good.

The world as it stands is a sort of second iteration
Of the monkey-mind, itself an impression of the surface
Of first earth. Of course, there has been some obliteration
Of detail. Clarity suffers. Nerve’s

Sufficiently unstonelike, one does
Wonder how rock’s (having sublimated through
The ideational condition) plausibly thawed
Back into something one could actually throw
Through the flickering, tinted, or night-lit windows
Of city planners who think these third-hand thoughts.


Richard Kenney is a poet and professor of English at the University of Washington. He is the author of four books of poetry: The Evolution of the Flightless BirdOrrery,The Invention of the Zero, and The One-Strand River. 


  1. Michael Redmond says:

    Love the poem. But why possessive nerve’s, rock’s? Oughtn’t they be plurals?

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney