Dan Beachy-Quick – Twittering Machine

Dan Beachy-Quick

Twittering Machine

I see I must rewire the Twittering Machine
Whose song was lightning
                                          when lightning-struck—
And then sang singe, sang smoke: elect

-ric elegy, perpetual elegy, the fuse
That fused syllable to
                                 sound is blown, is
Blown, and now the dry-throat on noting

Nothing drowns. The gold-sheathed wire
Soldered to star
                          sang both the star
’s celestial thread that fretting through

The night kept the night a needle-width
Undone, and sang
                            yellow the yellow
Thread unmending the sundress wife kept

In closet December-long. And longer:
Through darker months
                                    none could name, none
Name—since, ever since, that star whose light

Powered the Twittering Machine’s ever-song
Died, was always dead,
                                     though nightly seen,
Is still seen, cold but brilliant overhead. The gold

-sheathed wire withered, tangent to the moon.
Now a fungal-wire aches
                                      down cemeteries
To find a decaying song. Earth-battery—

It winds the dynamo by a ceaseless, clock-
Work turn, clock-
                            wise turn,
But the Twittering Machine refuses song.

No, no—not refuse, not refuse. We’ve rewired
The mechanism. Stars
                                   are silent, trustless:
They lock the dark vault they seem to pierce.

Music of the spheres? buzz, no test-pattern,
Program cancelled, shut.
                                      Now one dark talon
Sheathed in darkness drops unseen from sky

And scratches the earth as the earth turns.
Do you hear that sound
                                     of gravel on gravel
Grinding? That music is our music now.

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