A January Day

He wasn't one day and then he was
and he looked at the world’s inscrutable face
and wondered what a body does
in this inscrutable place.
What is your pleasure? he asked the enclosure
where the squirrels faced off with the birds;
but in meadow or stable, no creature was able 
to answer in human words,
 yes, none answered in human words.  

Chris Childers, (Dark Horse, Winter 2017)

I continue to agonize over a cento on the subject of walls.  This is one of those conceptual projects to which I'm stubbornly attached.  I've got the guts of it, the brick and mortar, so to speak, but can't seem to weave the lines together because, well... brick and mortar obviously don't weave.   At any rate, I've observed that the more I try to write about walls the more I write of fog, stone, sky, and river.   And of course critter. 

Even my promising little ditty on Exhibitionism and the Overexposed turned up fully clothed and underwhelming.  But this heady little rush of verse that's wrapped in fog and stone and river and critter ...it seems to want to go on forever.  

And who am I to argue ?


In this epoch of high-pressure selling
When the salesman gives us no rest, 
And even Governments are yelling
Our Brand is Better than Best,
when the hoardings announce a new diet
To take all our odor away,
Or a medicine to keep the kids quiet,
Or a belt that will give us S.A.,
 Or a soap to wash shirts in a minute,
One wonders at times, I'm afraid,
If there is one word of truth in it,
And how much the writers were paid.

                         --- Auden, from Ode, (circa 1970)

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