He said that mathematics was an art
and won my heart;
that cultures die; the sign of death, a Caesar—
O, what a teaser!—
and once they’re dead, stay dead. No one’s at home
in Ancient Rome,
that took grand Greece with it. And how divine a
pattern for China?
Nothing in China for TWO THOUSAND years,
O yes, Tang art, then Buddhism…but then
Tao becomes Zen,
and nothing really changes, nothing’s new….
Nothing is true
everywhere all the time; everything grows,
rooted, for those
who see deeper than logic, learn to hate your
dead laws of nature.
Hey, was it Spengler speaking there, or me?
Easy to see…
I had to have thought-countries rich and strange
where I could range,
as once, among wild thoughts of our black maid,
I skipped and played,
and hoped someday to live down the disgrace
of my dead race,
as if I’d grasped the strangeness of my portion,
I, failed abortion.
Mother felt guilty. Drugs she took, the dear,
had made me queer.
But no, they gave me Spengler, made me blest
in our dead West.