National Poetry Month Day 32: “Some Philosophies of Orbit” by Wesley Rothman

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Some Philosophies of Orbit

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1. Reincarnation. 2. What is said of insanity:
expecting a different result, immortality

or keeping all your money. 3. The equation of circumference
or a wedding band. 3.1 The greatest distance between

two inseparable objects. 3.2 Contradiction in terms
of touching without contact. 4. How the oval—drunk

—circles any point dropped in its area. An egg’s sturdy shell,
suspending the yolk, obliterates at a pan’s edge. 5. Each of our skulls

firming atmospheres for our brains—the soft terrain
of what and how we know. 5.1 Craniums learn magnetism,

draw near one place then another, one person, some other.
6. Foucault’s pendulum and diligent logic. 7. Routine.

8. How we return to reinterpret love, on what we
have already settled. Our consistent change

of position. 9. Rewarding good children, destroying
the devious. 10. In the world, some never sit still, never

stay anywhere very long—history is nipping at our heels.
11. Some things are for ever; no thing ever is for some,

only one or none. 12. The way verbs swarm their noun
or share it. 11.1 Ad infinitum. There, somewhere, comes

an end, an abrupt shift toward abandonment
or disintegration. 11.2 Right now, there is everything

of the past leaning forward, like an icebreaker nudging
miles of virgin ice.

-Wesley Rothman

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Wesley Rothman serves as senior poetry reader for Ploughshares, a member of Salamander’s Board of Directors, an editorial consultant for Copper Canyon Press, and was an assistant poetry editor for Narrative. A recent Pushcart Prize nominee and finalist for the 49th Parallel, McCabe, and Consequence Poetry Prizes, his poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Bellingham Review, Salamander, Rattle, Ruminate, and Newcity. He teaches writing at Emerson College and the University of Massachusetts Boston.


Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →