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There is much to be said for space, for letting the space be
filling; for letting the drawing in the mind be the faintly stated
thing; yet the very thing one wanted to state. A world of lives is
inscribed here, in under forty lines. It is not the same as
description. It is not the beginning, middle, and end.
It is in the act of thinking and writing. In the act of living.
One thinks of other poets who have managed much
significance with much restraint. Oppen, Niedecker. These lines
are not those lines, but an affinity with Objectivism is fairly
evoked. Yet here is more affinity for story, for stories,
present as much in their missing parts as in their suggested dramas.
One thinks of the horizon, and of music in single notes
moving toward it. The score is improvised; so the destination
is just beyond the horizon. That’s why I selected these poems by Marc Gaba.
He tasted his tear, tiny orchestra, it fled
itself down his face to the tongue which could not
hold that rapid taste, the lives that quote each other
streamed below his placard, all day and later
the sun pulled out like an ending, it pointed
away from its answers, at us whom it missed,
word by word, the holes in the net we make.
betrayal white subtitle white 20th century
red no one’s indigo default blue,
(threads for whom color stashed from
all innocence, dart to another grey
knot of invisible children, wait in you as what freedom is dealt the free).
Years after the accident, she asked in the middle of the night if his hand was on her dead hand
The time it took to answer as he felt it there, thinking she, who still sees, should have seen that.
The hounds opening on the scent we gave them
to memorize, memorized
the scent and cut
a path through the thicket for us between air
and air, a wound slipping in like a flag, dripping
its blindfolds on your body, sleeping without you.
Can I use the word we to mean those waters we have seen
fall round in parts that keep to themselves falling
as in rain we can
slow down, , you know, in our minds each like parts of it perhaps
you or I have watched fall, maybe, once or never, crossing:
a sea, small enough, deep enough to cross, sending and sending
its white eyelids nowhere along with a small boat,
its one mouth travelling filled
with letters accepting rain, the word We for them
as We have stood here for long We have not
known joy we are dumb and can be envied our coldness we can freeze
whitely over eyes and melt without music
till we see without music:the boat ashore with our letters
ruined, and he
whose work was to bring them, is dead there and rotting
while we say as water that water understood, we are not words,
we are not water.
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