It’s obvious: wild beast, suggesting an uncontainable
nature: kicking the lamp light, upsetting the roses.
But in fact the wildebeest is a gnu, and therefore
a member of the antelope family, which although wild
lacks something of the beast part. Perhaps a clue
to the wildebeest’s nature is to be found in the French,
Gnou Bleu, or blue gnu, which sounds so much like
Who knew? that one can’t help but see
the wildebeest for the paradoxical creature that it is:
bewildered with a passion for the sea. Furthermore,
the blue suggests a sort of melancholy
which does indeed seem to follow the wildebeest,
along with a strong, crumbly accent that hangs about
in the general vicinity wherever wildebeests are present.
However, do not be fooled. The word gnu re-arranged
is gun. And like guns, wildebeests have been known
to go off without warning (on each other and strangers),
using their heads to do serious damage in the process.
For years they’ve resisted the introduction
of mandatory safety locks, as well as the closing
of the so-called “gnu-show loophole,” which allows them
to go berserk without the usual background effects.
Any person unfortunate enough to encounter a loose wildebeest
should report it immediately to local emergency management
officials. In appearance, the wildebeest resembles a cross
between a goat and a cow, with the legs of a deer and the face
of a boarded-up saloon. Some are brindled, but others
are flat-gray or onyx with wavy, white tails
creating the illusion of an animal in surrender.



  Sad little Edgar Floorboard, drainpipe with eyes.
A man strung-out against insensitive skies
and left from the start to his own devices.
We’re told, in fact, that no one really came out
to see his corpse when it died. It was too cold
or it was Baltimore. It was October, 1849.

And although the last details of his final days are lost,
we know he was consumed with alcohol and drugs,
also voting fraud and exposure to one or more
blasts from the heavy-duty elements. But
let’s consider Edgar first in a few defining
moments. Born in 1809 to a possum

who disappeared and a mother who
disappeared of pneumonia, Edgar Poe
was taken in by the merchant, John Allan, and
never officially adopted. The boy was somber,
rebellious, liked to read in the dark. Early
and often he laid down to write, his mouth hanging

open like a wingless bird’s. Serious Edgar molting.
Poorly Edgar burst. At the age of 27
(and this is where it hurts) he married
his 13 year old cousin, Virginia. And happy,
being a relative term, the couple lived
with his aunt, her mother, and no one complained

about the noise. Not the shrieking and not
the flurry of nevermores issuing like smoke
from the box at all hours. Edgar, those days,
at the height of his powers grew a mustache
and sunk his face like a ship. But when
a few years later Virginia’s lungs let go,

Edgar’s spine disconnected from the chambers
of his heart, and his punctuation never recovered:
Astonishment…?! Abandonment—! Wreck:!!!?
Edgar found solace in holding his breath, while
his drinking and nerves became chronic
malfunctions. Wan Edgar Doorknob. Sick Edgar

Spigot. He leaked uncapped like a vein
in the kitchen, pale blue and covered with a film.
Reports conflict, however, was he lamp-lit
or ill? Comfortless Edgar kept begging
his questions, then crossing them over
and counting the Xs. The effects, no doubt,

of a serrated vision. Ruinous Edgar,
the object of spirits. To the pit
in his own broken tenor.



  If X is a proposition, then X is either True or False.
In more liberal systems X might also be classified
as indeterminate, but most leading logicians shy away
from this as it’s less rigorous, and therefore,
allows for too many accidents on the job, which
has been shown to disrupt both Beauty and Truth.
That is, Perfection itself. Think trees and forests
and man-made service islands. The loss of limbs,
the use of thumbs, the best and the brightest.
For instance, “Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey
Oswald,” is True and Beautiful as a proposition
just in case and provided that one is speaking
of John F. Kennedy and not his brother Robert, who
at the time of John F’s assassination was the Attorney
General of the United States, and furthermore provided
and just in case that Oswald worked alone and was not,
as he claimed, a patsy. Think baker man and shoeshine
boy and rub-a-dub-dubious. Always state clearly what each
important term means. White-collar, rabbits, and monkeys.
Do not forget to add the proviso that some very anxious
characters do not fit into any of these categories, and yet,
however sad or anxious they may be, are still possibly
presidential material. Logic compacts and simplifies
the exceedingly challenging and incalculable nature
of existence. Logic demonstrates the way things
should be, so that human beings might follow its example.
Think tire iron, congress person, knock-knock joke.
Think sniveling, croaking, access denied. Scientists
are now agreed, there is no such substance as heat.
Heat is a quality. To abstract a quality is to remove it
from its associations and to consider it separately.
Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my and oh no and oh yes.
Logic tells us that a bundle of sticks cannot be easily
broken just because each one taken separately can be
easily broken. Think Adam and Eve and Steve. Logic
is completely apolitical and amoral, even when dis-
cussing fascism and the descent of man. Think
D. Alighieri and Orpheus and moles. For example,
the phrase “descent of man” has caused some
confusion among persons unfamiliar with how
scientists mean to use it. That is, it is sometimes felt
that the human race is considered by scientists
to be at a lower level than the amoeba or the ape.
This line of thinking is not perfect; in it there is a mistake.
What one comes to understand is that much is ambiguous,
and what logic seeks is clarification. Butter and glass
and ink. Some artists believe that logic is of little use
in their work, but what is art if not an emanation
of the spirit which attempts to achieve Beauty and Truth?
And as we’ve seen already, Truth is Beauty, and Beauty is
Truth, but Beauty is also Perfection, and Perfection is the back
of a cave. Think Rodin’s “Thinker,” Da Vinci’s “Mona
Lisa,” and Gaudier-Brzeska’s “Hieratic Head of Ezra
Pound.” One feels in logic like one is getting on
with one’s nose, like one’s waistcoat is being unfastened
for the first time, and the air is refreshing. Soldiers
can be classified and re-classified and AWOL. Consider
men who fire muskets, men who support the revolution
and conscientious objectors. Always, one stands
against the wall and waits for death in the face.
Or sometimes the names of beaches and parks and
the shadow hiding under the wallpaper.
In a textbook on geometry a point is always
necessarily represented by a dot, even though a point,
being an abstraction, has no actual dimensions. Think
people with dogs and skated spirals and STDs.
In logic, perseverance is the same as deliverance
from evil. One considers everything in concert
and swoons fastidiously, but without motion.
Always, if this, then that,
or nothing.