Bruce Conner’s Lactobacilli

An ekphrasis after the Bruce Conner exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery.

Viewpoints: Untitled Prints by Bruce Conner. [installation view, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle]. November 10, 2018 — April 28, 2019. Photo: Mark Woods (© Henry Art Gallery with permission)

Let’s talk about the servants
in my biome. And inside
the sky, the macrospecks.
Look at the sprawling sheet,
poked with little
burning mandalas.

We are not so different
from the Cosmos,
following sets of equations
for disruption.

Our concentrically
speckled heads, bejeweled
like clockwork to engineer
belching pipes and mushroom
how we blacken
the blue-green speck.

As if we know,
sometimes, a crowded painting
must detonate,
but we still paint.

I say
one never creates for
the sake of the creation.
There is a small scope
of what can be seen.

I need you
to bring me into focus.
What if I forget
how to digest milk?