There is a world in the between, stretches
of water, bundles of dry land not yet set
aflame, a place to live, the only place. Take
a second and take a breath to see it, where
you might be, what a set of words of yours
might become, the poetry of those particular
phrasings, the way between camps of words,
the suture that holds together and separates
eye from ear. Find the cracks, and you’ll find
your purchase. The fissure provides the point
from which you push, at which you rest.
Make your poems there or neverwhere else.
Not quite. Not quite, not quite. Start again.
Pitiable expatriates, living on borrowed land.
I can’t even find even my home even on a map.
Or so you say. We live on a country similar
to our own. We live in burrowed time, the past
the putative present, yet no-one gives us one.
Home is where the chart is, sailing the Indian
Ocean that once was my front yard. Tsunami
comes and washes it all away. Tsunami comes
and washes us. We are erased by the process
of living, each step forward a step on. Hear
the crunch of our skulls crushed. I seem to
recall a telephone that did not have a ring.
NO. This is supposed to be a letter to you.
The patterns you must follow are the patterns
we all conform to. A poem could be a chessboard
though there’s no game to it. A word doesn’t move.
Are you? The intricacies of the forgetting ensure
the memory its power to move you. There is no
memory in the memory. I have forgotten what
I’d remembered, but there is a form to it.
The postman comes and leaves a package.
The poet sees and tears it open. These rituals
provide the patina of purpose. I blew my nose
three times before I blew it forth. Nasal froth
and fury, froth and fury, froth and furtively so.
Pretend, I say to myself, you can do it.
There is a small frightened bird shaped like
an egg. Did I say it cannot fly? There is a
fuzzy brown fruit all green inside. There is
a man on an island and continent. We say
he lives at the antipodes, but everything is
the antipodes to somewhere. The difference
between the bottom and the top is per-
spective and perusal. We cannot see what
we cannot see so. To understand upside-
down, you must understand there is no up.
I have produced this per specifications, but
they were so general as to be meaningless.
I must try to control what I should not control.
You may create this world (and this is not
permission but perspicaciousness) by finding
it in the words streaming at you day by
extended day, by finding it in the images
the hidden eye can see, by seeing it in the
flesh and fowl of your world, little green edge,
that boundary between desert and ocean.
There rocks on the sea a boat so light,
the rocks in the bay fall and then fight the fall.
Oppositions create the pressure needed.
Whatever’s flaccid, florid, fickle, like a line,
that’s nothing we can think anything of.
Seems like I’m almost there to the way.
Giving is recognizing, and you see her face
as someone you know, a word of praise in
silent gesture, acceptance, an embrace
of word and image, genuine reflection of
a face, of yours or hers or his, in shattering
water that holds together, through different
means and manners, the jetsam that floats
to the surface and the flotsam that sinks,
a rock rocking slowly down or up, there is
no direction but across, the handshake, soon
there will come together a gift so large we’ll
call it the present and live forever within it.
Maybe that will have to do for now as this.