from A Reading

by Beverly Dahlen

now there can be nothing left but adjectives. this, that will be. corn. a root. a word that is not. not a word. a word taking place. taking its place, it comes in to sit down at the table, lifts its head, seeing what is inside it. all this pathetic fallacy. this is not a window, it is perhaps a mirror. the mirror, most mysterious of objects.

through a glass, he said, and darkly. nothing in the light. light, light, that illusion. leading on towards something, cutting into it. what is the link, a linking verb, this is, copulative. the metaphor. this is that. in the sense that it is summer.

it is not a person, place, or thing. it is not anything. one can suggest the absence, can lie. it is not there. cutting the ground out. making it hollow.

a three-part invention, a stereo hand, a leg up, help. help for the aged and the needy. for widows and orphans. all the older people I know who are orphans. don’t they miss it. don’t they still want to be children. now they must take care of the world.

taking care, take care of the sense and the sound will take care of itself, but then if there were no authors there would be no books. if there were no machines would that be poverty. it was in the cards, there at the beginning. to take care of itself. generating Lapland, other places, a change of scene, a change of direction right in the middle of a sentence. do sentences move in directions. do they rather curl up around themselves and go to sleep. do they rather coil like a snake, are they little bombs, do they go off. do they show you anything, who can prove it. don’t you live there everyday, it can’t be more complex than the real world.

a work of art, I’m sorry, I have another plan.

Text of Chax broadside, 1988. Passage originally published in Conjunctions

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