Syzygy (for RJ)

by Jeff Oaks

In Poetry, it’s the combination of two metrical feet into a single unit, although how it’s different from elision or a contraction, I’m not sure.

In philosophy, it’s a close union.

In psychology, it’s a union of opposites, in which two thing we think of as separate or in opposition don’t necessarily oppose each other’s function but work together.

In Gnosticism, well, you already know if you know and if you don’t….

In astronomy, it’s a straight line configuration of at least three celestial bodies. (See eclipse although not only…)

In biology, it’s the pairing of chromosomes in meiosis.

In the largest sense, it’s the conjunction of dissimilar things.

Is the swan a syzygy of snake and bird or of snake and snow bank or snake and iceberg? Is syzygy different from a metaphor, from chimera? Who among us is not syzygistic?

The old forms break down or rather the old barriers between things break down all the time. New combinations, new unions appear. It’s hard to know where the monsters are these days.

Who among us does not dream of a third party to challenge the clearly broken Democrat-Republican system? But when one does, will we trust it?

Hasn’t the old simplification of male and female proven to be unworkable for so many people? Suddenly, it seems, a bunch of us were just saying to each other, we have students who are transgender. Where were they before? The narrow choices of biological male and biological female are inadequate, do not account for the inner lives of so many people now who do not feel at home in the bodies that system allows. New configurations of humanity seem suddenly possible. But will we remember to respect its reasons?

It is possible to make rats that phosporesce. Soon we may all photosynthesize.

Is a mutant a syzygy?

One thing is like another thing, says simile. One thing is another says metaphor.

Does negative capability produce or result from syzygy? Does double consciousness? Or multiple intelligences, which we used to project as aliens, as spirits, ghosts, gods, demons, monsters, angels, but which might all be our syzygistic selves?

What about an essay that lists? Or a poems that asks questions? A novel that quotes facts from the real world? Should we step back now while we can still imagine ourselves simply?

Isn’t Orange the new Black?