Rows sans end

El Porto, 1969A sentence, this one, for example (though another might do), the one you are now reading, backlit, for some purpose, presumably (your body like a house in disrepair, suit fraying, limbs sagging, glasses missing one temple, pads bent, joints crooked, hair crinkled dry moss, green going grey, a bird’s nest), late summer as the sentence gets started, lolling, dozing, without antecedent, no foreshadowing, no shadows at all, no dashes, noon, then, the beach clear, the water shipless and shapeless, but shiftless still, then suddenly awakening and rising, like a quick second wind, and just as quickly a third wind, the afternoon slop now upon the coast, the water rougher than it looked from the beach, sudden, swell upon swell following the sleepy noon lull, and you are not ready for this, each new wave an and, followed by another and, and another and, until, caught now in a riptide, a rebuttal that has the stylish lifeguards proofreading for drowning readers, and when they find one, they click on the swimmer and go, click and go, click and go, sweeping the sentence down to the water clear of this sort of thing, fragments, wave fragments, ripples from where they sit high in their tower

A row is a row is a row is a row,
a row a row a row a row.
A paddle is a paddle is a paddle is a paddle,
and we are out past the break,
out to sea,
so to speak
is to speak is to speak is to speak.

No matter      what we do (rules)      where we go (directions)
there are margins,                                            edgeswe come up against.
                        The world is flat
after all,
                  the flat earth squaring us in,
switchbacks,               zigzags              away from intuition. 
For the world wants style:
                  8 & ½ x 11, 3 hole punched,
the thin red vertical line creating a margin,    a double edge.

“Sometimes a thing is hard because you are doing it wrong” (Don DeLillo, “Point Omega, p. 27).

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I guess we can’t do anything right for a square when we are circling and spiralling, or, equally, get anything right for a dot when we’re bouncing and rippling …

    Since some time I mean to comment on one of the header-images here, the white chicken with the child – delightfully poetic in its mirroring quality …

    Like

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks, Ashen! The girl with the chicken is my wife, Susan. The caption for the photo might read: “which one’s the chicken?” Just one of my favorite all time photographs. I’m reminded of this, too: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174770 tangentially, anyway.

      Like

  2. Dan Hennessy says:

    Fishing for meaning , I sentence you to endless roe

    Like

    1. Joe Linker says:

      I cannot see her tonight.
      I have to give her up
      I will eat fugu. (Buson)

      One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish

      One should never fish for meaning; one should get out of the water. Fish from a safe perch.

      Like

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