Recent Developments in Set Theory

by Christian Stanzione


With the private machinery of my hands,
I begin to fill the box of all matter.
I started with every book. I moved

on to ladybugs, loading their rattling
reds by the shovel full.
Once I deposited the cathedral doors,

a problem came in the form
of the abstract: how do I pack
the memories? I held

the thud of a 2×4 hitting
the head of a ram in one hand,
and the slowing breath of a ewe

in the other, and made my deposit.
The result was an exhaling:
from the emptiness came a new

box of all matter. I filled its darkness
with its predecessor;
time sputtered schismatically:

eruption of all things, – impact of touch.
Then, a calming darkness,
an expanding dark.


The dark came as a bulk chittering
like wet orchids and smelling

like rotting scalps.
Buildings fell into this ocean of negation.

Fruit-trees shook –their blossoms and bearings
collided with the rush.

All vision honeycombed as light
was whirled away. More and more

passed into this new night:
stone walls; cathedral glass;

things-in-themselves. You have to imagine
all the lights on the earth going out –

like time sealed in wax. Nothingness
makes of time a drop of water in a cenote:
indistinguishable in the face of real-change.


Christian Stanzione is an incoming student at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Photo by Austin Ban