BECAUSE GOING NOWHERE TAKES A LONG TIME

KENNETH PATCHEN

Something in the climate of a hammer
Struck him when young. Call a
Sparrow a lamp, you’ll still need
The liking of chairs to settle
What is at bottom only painted over
Cloth; and that flat cunning of plates,
How little it speaks above the soup’s
So roundly directional bravura. Count the sky
A pan, you’ll still be hard put to find
Any flash in its like. But ah, alas, alas,
Lottipo … the mushy marshes, those tree-lined woods,
The so-small journeying, and the trivial occupants thereof …
These, too, and all else, alas, are only real. So may we
Remember once again how the grasses cause the wind to move.
Ah, alas, dear Toppilo, what then is this realm that seems
So like a cell, without jailor or judge, or witness even…?
And that we love! is this not proof of something!
No, I admit, not necesarily of heaven …

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