I had
one with
a spiral
painted
on it that
drilled the
coffee
table
when I
spun it.
I’d snap
a die
onto its
blunted corner and watch the twist I gave
it blur the cube into a 3-D Star of David—
my first magic trick, Newtonian hocus-pocus.
A top survives by narrowing its focus: The more
its point attempts to circumscribe, the broader the
circle its handle describes. Waver falls to wobble,
wobble falls to fall. Tightness of any kind at all
leaves room for no love but the discipline.
It lets in less and less and less.
A figure-skater, crouching
for the spin, gathers
no one to his
chest.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 29 Number 6, on page 39
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