Ramp to ramparts to rampant
slowness, my process of decay.
The silences of speaking.
Impression of ink to a sheet,
and a blanket to keep warm.
Every fingertip covered with ink,
we mark the places we’ve been.
Accumulation is the only means
of writing, piecemeal and piecework.
Involute results from immaterial actions
of a piece of metal against a piece of paper
against the assault of words and the material
fact of all we’ve made and left behind.
The typographer’s nervousness
at the undeniability of ink.
The muscle flexes,
the ink fluxes. It is a river
that runs out of us and
and river that runs
across the page.
We are marked people, and separated
from the unmarked by our greater specificity.
The ballerina’s pirandello
at the penalty kick. Entr’acte,
and a stage gone black enough
to close onto silence.
There were eight of them, each
faster at making themselves meant
than I could be, who (word by word)
am making (word by word) these words.
Patience is required of process.
I am making this so measurably slowly
because I am making it word by word,
against the concept of sentence or
paragraph or structure of meaning.
Ink is thicker than blood.
I have a heart of birch
and the bark of birch
to cut a word into or
another word upon
the first word, or the
bark as a basket, a horn
to play, a ring, a shoe,
a knapsack made of birch
and holding together
both wind and night, both
sun and evening, both
daylight and shadow.
In the margins of the day, in the margins
of a life and waiting, and better than not,
in the margins of the page, in the gutter
of the book, in the margins where there
are no words, no webs of ink, that is where
we find the structure, the carapace, the
process that holds the word together,
that gives it weight enough to mean for us.
Page the color of pale.
Making the distinction between distinct
and having no features that distinguish
that face from any other face as a page
appearing inkless but more expressive
for the simple fact of its pure blankness.
What comes slow for us, but inexorable,
is the making, with ink and type, with
fingers and paint, within and without.
I left a leaf of paper to float to the ground.
It fell against a word
and then another
and became a word.