Towers of Cake in Byzantium
by Steven McCabe
I meet an old friend for coffee and cake
we discuss the symmetry of
consequence, the coincidence of
After we stand on the corner
I visit two bookstores
near one another in The Annex,
books I will thumb through
a hundred times (knock on wood)
sifting subconscious & mythological elements
a chapter here, chapter there
traipsing the curvilinear imagination.
Birds fly low magnetized by subterranean quartz
wings whoosh, swooshing
miraculously, above the roar of wind,
I hear their soft instruction.
A young person, in motion a river,
photographs the books
over my shoulder.
Humming a tune
I contemplate pages
on the subway train.
Or so it seems, the way she steadies her phone
visible out the corner of my eye –
my station approaches.
I said this image is four, maybe, or five-thousand years old
she said I saw the books.
She said something, maybe, what
she read or might be reading.
Maybe she mentioned Byzantium.
I understood barely anything almost nothing,
with her speaking through a mask,
the subterranean ambient noise,
additional my normal hearing trouble.
She repeats a word, I tilt my head
like a bird
the door embellished with golden mosaic tiles,
sliding closes in my face.
A vast dimension
composed of light-years
descends upon me.
The sound of her mystery words
accentuates her aura
like a river in motion.
I repeat rhyming words
the consequence of symmetry
the symmetry of coincidence.
Thank you, she said.
I dart for the door again
climbing tiled stairs
beneath vast archways
Birds swoop above & below a quartz-river
flowing from the sun.
The Idea of the Book in the Middle Ages: Language Theory, Mythology and Fiction by
Jesse M. Gellrich –
Sun, Moon and Standing Stones by John Edwin Wood –
Inside the Neolithic Mind by David Lewis-Williams & David Pearce –
A Search for Cave and Canyon Art: Voices From the Stone Age by Douglas Mazonowicz – (signed by the author)