I regret to inform you
there is no silence. Placed in an anechoic chamber,
your pulse drums. The quietest place in Boston
is the scholarly Athenæm library—for members only.
I learn the physics of stillness on a radio talk-show: black holes
fall into black holes. I think I know something about that.
Why I forever long for absence, the veiled poetics of physicists,
how the word quark (from a passage in Finnegan’s Wake)
comes in six flavors: up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top.
It’s the background hum
I listen for, the gravitational sounds—like a jungle—
that deprive the universe of silence. In space, where there is no air,
particles are busy smashing against other particles,
rubbing legs together, a swishy song, dress rubs against slip,
the absent sound between successive ocean waves,
as you wait for the next whoosh, the in-between frame of silence.
There is none actually. Decibels can be recorded
at minus levels; zero decibels is simply the typical threshold
of the standard human ear. Deafness does not prove silence
anymore than sightlessness proves darkness. There are sounds
we can’t hear, particles we can’t see, so much more
is unperceived than perceived. We are a species of sensory utensils
that only serve to limit the fidelity of reality.
Moreover: there is a proposed fifth force, postulated
but never situated in time/space.