Academic journal article Chicago Review

As Semblance, Though

Academic journal article Chicago Review

As Semblance, Though

Article excerpt

"non siamo...non vogliamo" - Montale

The nothing - or the not - supposes, of course, and gestures into some certain absence. You thought as much, might have said so quickly,

in passing; distinctly absolute, furtive and improbable, this tentative void, quiet now, and the jet engines roar skyward,

the refrigerator hums, then shudders still, lights in the hallway, shadows at the door; imagine storefronts and littered gangways,

someone slouched darkly at the corner, a mote in your eye, perhaps, nothing worth noting; nonetheless, a hand moving,

the jitter of skin over skin and now a taste of copper, like pennies in your mouth, the air in its own time adjusted to your face.

You are the shape it takes of nothing, a border urged outward, speaking its own incessant edge, as water breaks and curls,

river scrawl meandering, naming the catch in your throat, all that lies beyond whatever seems defensible, ridge or hill, profiled

revetments, sighs, sightlines among shallows, reeds and cattails. Nothing, of course. The absolutist stomp begun again; lift me

homeward, you might have said to the wind - or into, or against - its vortices curling their smoke trailed petals across your face.

More than zero, always, and more than one, the self and its selves edging along successive thresholds, sill after sill, a blue contentment

as certain as the sky, washed over hillside and treeline and all those distances it recedes from as the land slips past you or the river

flexes beneath its own shimmering skin, each instance of light play and water silted to the next, each hued with its own past. …

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