Six Political Criteria

Geoffrey G. O'Brien

The world is still for you, the situation
Excellent, there is only a percent
Chance of anything happening.

Never before has our country been
So sliding along its seven days
Without a formula. The well plugged,

House retaken, bargaining gone.
We must rise as if to see what is
Really going on among stones

Hunting heaven, in the towers
Hung up again outdoors
Where certain needs feed right back

Into enterprise, others
Delighted the dawn comes up,
That they are there, etc. That

There are bodies and reflections
Of bodies, planes of black glass
In which the heavens disorder

Or order—everything gone equal 
Threats, contradictions that call
For correct handling. But the situation

Excellent for centuries in either
Direction, the border guarded,
Songs sung. We’ll want to watch it

Over time, among its honeys
Flowing unobstructedly, clouds
And clouds and clouds, reflections

Of clouds. That they are air
Resolving conflicts peacefully,
Waiting for more information.

Why then do some people feel
Each dawn a new issue when
It’s been growing and changing

For some time and only now
Sends out flash agents? It is
Sheer fantasy to imagine

New things. There are reflections,
Heavens under other heavens,
Horizons that flow through the streets

In puddles of film. Let a hundred bloom
Like flowers poisonous to weeds
There where the sky is grounded,

Where never have so few been 
So many disturbances, floods of fact
Spreading answered questions

Across glass, sea surface, century, etc.
Can bad dawns be turned good
Days, given their dual character?

How much time do you have?
We must learn to rise as if
Seeing the inside of horizon

Or not at all. While time is 
Dominant but limited, morning 
And night the two sides of a single 

Productive problem sunset yellows 
Press together in a discipline 
Reds half upset; and through them

Unrealistic notions split
Back into appearances. Folly 
Thinking anything superior

To their repeated accumulation
Of gold gone otherwise, 
The running dogs with easy

Honey on their backs, large
Fake walls of pleasure’s end
Coming apart like agriculture

In the sky. For two years
They worked on this 
With this and they

The least measurable things,
Robes and steps still heard
As affronts to brotherhood

A second later never there,
Clouds leaking captures,
Captures growing aftermaths

No one really understands.
The most that can be said is
The end of the day is

Provocative: grays edged red
Establishing the primacy of
Color over shape, a sense

Of horizontality worked
Optionally on the inside of 
A shield. What changes is how the sun 

Will lie amid surrendering effects,
Now a bed and now a valuable
Exercise in counter-melt,

Yellows bought short, rejected 
On the shoulders of the next 
Embroidered ray, threads of green

In order beyond number. And 
A long gold bank under whites
Of hinted transformation, dirty

Whites opening a cage always
Differently, the west in adequate
Emptiness, the west of the west

In total serration, seven steps
Of a necessary decay
Guided without a guide.