Poetic ideal

If it were possible to write a poem that vanished
completely from the page as it was read, so
that it would last for just a single reading
by whoever found it first, her eyes
& silent lips inadvertently erasing
each word as s/he partook, gaze
like a flame moving through
the flesh of some effigy
for the ineffable, ah–
this would be that
poem, this screen
that page & you
that dear

10 Replies to “Poetic ideal”

  1. Thanks for reading, y’all. See Teju Cole’s miracle speech blog for more unbalanced and mutually contradictory statements on poetics.

  2. This is beautiful and somehow gives me a déja vu feeling. Not because of any other poet’s words but rather that fugitive sense of recognition…something I can’t quite give a name to.

  3. more unbalanced
    I meant “more, unbalanced.” They are not necessarily any more whacked than my ideas.

    Bill – Cool pictures – thanks for sharing.

    Natalie – Thanks. Let us know if you remember what it is this reminds you of!

    Beth – Natsume Soseki, the great Japanese novelist, once wrote that the artist lives in a three-cornered world (as opposed to the ordinary four corners of everyone else). I’m not sure he ever specified where the corners were located, though, or what happened to that missing corner…

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