Schimel, Lawrence: “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Hole”

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Hole
(after Wallace Stevens)

by Lawrence Schimel


Among the twenty billion stars
that hang like eyes up in the sky
the black hole is a wink.


They say that, “Black holes have no hair”
because only three things matter:
how much it weighs, which way
it spins, and if its thoughts
are positive.


The black hole whirls in the cosmic winds.
It is a small part of the pantomime.


Space and time
are one.
Space and time and a black hole
are one.


I do not know which to prefer,
the falling into a black hole
or just after.


Light bends into the black hole
like the sun hitting icicles upon the window.
The shadows trace a mood of rainbows.


Why do you imagine golden lights?
Do you not see how the black holes
spin around the feet
of the galaxies about you.


I know the secret of moonlight
and the distances between the stars;
but I know, too, that the black hole is involved
in what I know.


Beyond the Event Horizon
marks the edge
of one of many circles.


At the sight of black holes
giving off a faint blue glow,
even the boldest
would cry out sharply.


He rode across the galaxy
in a steel rocket.
Once, a fear pierced him,
in that he mistook
the shadow of his equipment
for a black hole.


What goes up, must come down;
what goes in, must come out.


It was twilight all afternoon.
The stars were shining
and they were going to shine.
The black holes spun
through the universe.