Twenty-Two Stories on Some Lines from Ben Lerner’s ‘The Lichtenberg Figures’


A Dream of Adorno

1 Burning Snow
2 Dust from the firmament “like snow”
3 Snow crystals (twenty-seven suborders)
4 Snow slush
5 Cheeks “like snow”
6 Angel hair (in autumn)
7 The snow of DARK ENERGY
8 Unknown
9 Matter’s microstructure



“Reliable reports of burning snow”


The highest hierarchy of the crystalline sky begins just beyond the orbit of the fifty-second Aristotelian planet. This part of the cosmos already belongs to the INVISIBLE HORIZON. Isidore of Seville, who describes it, never saw snow himself. Nor does he claim to know the creatures of flame, the six-winged, eyeless beings that make up the order of the seraphim. He speaks of his ears and of voices. “The hearsay of his inner voices” is his source. Arabian doctors regarded him as insane. The crystalline structure he calls snow, ­mingling with the burning glow in which the angels of the First Order gather around God’s throne, is dust, scoured by the hour and the minute, as though with a divine scraper, from the flat plateau of the spiritual body we call the sky, like an animal grooming itself.