Quotation & Poems by Dorion Sagan 
[Hear Dorion Sagan read his poems on Omniversica's Show # 3, recorded 3/6/03. Visit Dorion Sagan's & Lynn Margulis's website Sciencewriters for more info.]

“In what sense ‘is there’ a star that exploded a thousand years ago, and that we see now?…it is to be noted that, according to the distinction between phenomenon and noumenon, everything visible—ourselves included—could be nothing but memory and phenomenalization, no less than stars that have exploded, and appeared precisely when they have ceased to be noumena. “ - Maurizio Ferraris 

(For Dad with apologies)  

Here is the news from earth:

Life is not life

Science is not science  

Mind is not mind  

Look at it from space  

Where time is out of joint  

Where there is no day or night

Or rather there is day-night, night-and-day at the same time  

Daylight and shadow, the blinding sun and the simultaneously  

Sobering and hallucinatory reality of distant and receding stars**  

Look at Earth from out there  

It is not everything.  It grows humble.  It is half-lit, majestic.  

This is the place.  This is the time.  

Earth is not Earth.  It is blue. It grows pale and plain as you recede.  It disappears.

Like the face of the beloved lost in the crowd

Was it ever there?  More there than when the

Lights dim and she becomes Beauty itself—  

A pale perfect shape, sweet face of her

Nude promise concealed and illuminated by the EXIT sign  

Life is not life
It is written in the script of the universe
Like Coca Cola in Arabic
An interrupted promise
What in magic we call the one-ahead principle  

Even the cosmonauts will tell you  

The men who have set foot on the Moon  

Who have gotten off the unhijacked Space Shuttle  

They will tell you that when you are in orbit  

Going around the Earth every 45 minutes or so  

There is no day or night, no up or down  

Sun rise follows sunset very quickly  

The light cuts through the thin ribbon of the atmosphere  

Illuminating the interior of the capsule with all the colors of the rainbow  

Then, 45 minutes later, night falls  

Earth becomes the place where there are no stars  

On The Nobility Of Poets [HEAR THIS POEM READ ON SHOW 3!]

I can say in a line what others can’t say in a book
paraphrasing Nietzsche of whom
Bataille believed he was the reincarnation
Madness is so close to genius
The medieval librarian reversing the places of sun and peasant
making the low high, and the high low

Raymond Carver was told he would not live if he did not change his ways
So he quit drinking
Lived a decade longer
Then died of smoking

Thank Deus, Duce, God, and Dog
Thanks be to the gods
Everything is so close
Like loser to closer in the eye-rhyme of Joseph Brodsky
inhabitor of clouds
who doesn’t mention the laughter in slaughter
and shouldn’t have to

So I would have to agree
with Emily
that first comes poetry then comes marriage
or what is the same
fealty to the whole

in full knowledge of
the distance conferred by time

But already this is a plagiarism of the imagination
unruly won
against the deepest and rarest of all
the poets who do not write
whose rhymes match perfectly the dreams they describe
and whose identical, if grammatically challenged, children they are

Not to mention, the next of kin, the unwritten
The dogs with whose Butler’s eyes speak
the human gestures that all may write
in the medium of their particular universal communication


My poor dad
Unfortunately, Borges reminds us,
Nightmares prove hell exists
I dream of him
The monarch butterfly
A flake of tiger
to space
what sex is to time
and Einstein giving up
there is no ether
space is curved
and nature conceals
not because she is a trickster
but because she is sublime


A book is a baby
The idea may be a little slip up
The result of a drunken moment
But after the pleasure of conception (if you remember it)
The real work begins
And it’s a lot of work
It will wake you up, demand attention
Then you got to change it
It’s not you but it’s from you
It might not be what you want
It might not be what it wants
So you change, change, change it
It stinks how much you have to change it
Only some people got away with not changing their books
People like Henry Miller, for example
He would write a book in a couple of weeks
You might remember his books were banned
They grew up unruly
Were not permitted entry into certain countries
Were disgustingly autobiographical
Visited upon the child the sins of the father
Were criticized for their lack of craft by Kundera
Etcetera, etcetera
If you don’t want your books to be banned
You better rewrite them
Protect the guilty, change their names
Protect the crybabies, change their acts
Change, change, change your book
If you don’t want it to stink
Remember a book is your baby
You're its parent
Not its friend  

*            *            *            *            *            *

#1129, by Emily Dickinson  [HEAR THIS POEM READ ON SHOW 3!]

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant---
Success in Cirrcuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind---

[Hear Lynn Margulis read this poem on Omniversica's Show # 3, recorded 3/6/03. Visit Lynn Margulis's & Dorion Sagan's website Sciencewriters for more info.]

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