Mathematics

One thousand birds
return, one
by one,
the

          tree-peak rattles
with their quest-
ions

          Barbed-foot, Electric
-wing, Purple-
tuft, Ratty-
back —

they scratch the
skin, eye
stuck
in

the glow of lighted
bushels.
          One,
there, waits
, stick

unmoving, wind,
the smallest
thunder
-clap

          ; there, one dancing, leaf
to leaf, each
leap a
new

          religion:
gods in distance
, time, the nerve
of feeling

          height; and one,
too, alighted un-
seen, branch
re-

          bounding, feather
released
like a
seed.

This tree is a theater,
container
of wisdoms
gleaned,

          calculator
of secret
intrusions.
One

thousand tiny seekers
one by one
communion
here

          , a beetle, a
shaded place, they
rest or screech
in that

abundance
numbered by
their visit-
ations;

          they give what they
have taken
the great
bush-

          el shakes, seconds
recorded
for their
return.

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caleb Scott is a writer and actor. His plays and performance pieces have been produced and presented at venues in New York City and around the country, including Classic Stage Company, HERE Arts Center, La MaMa, the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, Diversafest in Tulsa and the Wooster Group’s Performing Garage. He is an associate artist with Colt Coeur Theater in New York and a founding member of theFLEET playwrights workshop in Los Angeles. Caleb’s writing has appeared in The Bellevue Literary Review, Nashville Review and Eclipse, and his first book, U.F.O., was published in 2006 by PowerHouse Books. His films have screened in festivals all over the world, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Raindance in London, Cinequest in San Jose, Palm Springs International Film Festival and Aesthetica in York, UK. He has been a Finalist for an Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Fellowship, a Finalist for the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at Juilliard, a Nominee for Best Actor and Best Writer by the Kinsale Shark Awards, and his plays have been selected as Finalists for the Playwrights Foundation Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Eugene O’Neill Theater’s National Playwrights Conference. Caleb is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the recipient of a Dartmouth Senior Fellowship in Writing. He lives in Miami, Florida.

 

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