The Adventure of the Dancing Men

Caroline Knox
April 18, 2013
Caroline Knox

Isn’t this the Either/Or Fallacy? You can either be

saved or lost? Angels appear to assist only some of the men and not

others, who are wrested off the ladder by devils in silhouette,

as these men, monks, climb the Heavenly Ladder of St. John Klimakos

in ms. paintings and in due course icons drawn from the devotional manual

of the same name by the sixth-century CE desert saint:


dancing men, rung on rung ascending in thirty steps to the presence of Jesus,

who holds his hands forward to receive them.

As they stretch and strive toward the divine,

don’t they also, some of them,

kick back with their heels into the faces of those on rungs below? Inadvertently.

(It looks like it -- or does it? As Sirarpie der Nersessian expressed it in Fine Arts 127, Spring 1959 CE)


Don’t think about it: parcheesi, yardstick.

Don’t think about it: just gaze: escalator, vertigo, staff notation of crescendo.

Don’t think about it: put one foot in front of the other,

consociational in time and place even with us, differing in degree,

these shapes are as letters of some alphabet, cipher, code --

the adventure of the dancing men, characters

lit from outside the galaxy, lit from within.




Caroline Knox's eighth book, Flemish, appeared from Wave Books in April 2013.