Karen Carcia


i. Of what is water

The invisible arrangement of the equator,

accidental risings and the repairing
of rivers, canals, arches.

What was once cut now reveals

valleys, sandy strata; we can follow along
the wall of old houses that line the banks of the Arno,

visit the inns gathered along the mountain talls

of the river Mera. What matters, worn away
by water: the horizon, the meridian, the arctic wind.


ii. Of the cause of breathing, of the motion of the heart

The discovery of honey. The library at Pesaro.

In the paragraph given to birds attend to the 3 principal
positions of the wings in downward flight.

Not the white canopy over the lovers, the light

reflecting off it. Aperture. Angle.
Ask: can the motion of clouds be known

by the motion of their shadows?

And: at the funeral, 60 tapers to be carried by 60 men,
known to need work.


iii. Of the palm of the hand

First describe the eye.



What first interested me about the Davinci Notebooks was their scope—and the passion that one must have to plan such an extensive scientific study of...well, everything. Of course, a project that tries to encompass so much is, inevitably, fragmentary. The nature of DaVinci's entries seem to underscore how seemingly unrelated elements are actually essentially linked.