I’ll add it to the list / On “Keeping Things Whole”


Mark Strand, 1964, Selected Poems.

I must have been 17 or 18 when I first read this poem, standing in a crowded subway car, on a placard aptly named: “Poetry in Motion”. Beauty is magnified in New York, at least it was when I was growing up. The gray and beige, the fluorescence, the strangers, the ambiance, my stage, for accidently tripping over words found and never lost again.

A running list of answers for the inevitable question that follows me here: Why did you move? Simple: You don’t live in the same place your hopes fled.

Less? “I move to keep things whole.” An inspired favor to the ever-present, the never-ending reality: all of this is not for you but in spite of you.  Wherever I am, I cause the rift, that tear in the continuity that would run patterned if not for the intrusion of my existence. Mass takes up space, I think…my last physics class was a long time ago, just around the time I read this poem.  I’ll add it to the list.

A chair will never become a bird even though I will exhaust myself waiting for wings. Possibility, the possibility of miracles. This thinking mandates adherence and so does the knowing. Certain of the possibility, I needed to vacate. My absence is because of my presence somewhere else, or another cause? I have soaked it all in, saturated my cells, become.  You can’t see the form because you are looking for what you know so well and yet fail to recognize. I have it, it has been abducted by the mass of my being. I’ll add it to the list.

Power, my power.  The air is parted as I wander through it, in it. Or perhaps, I am the cause, the producer and the product. I can create a typhoon, part the air and keep parting it until it has nowhere else to go, just my volition and the churning, for the moment.  I am also a fickle mistress. I’ll add it to the list.



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