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Void and Compensation (Field Guide)


Page one's a white space for thinking;
even here among the evergreens
beyond the living room and the white noise.

The guide held firmly in the hand means to see—

Through mist and wind made visible by branches,
do you name a thing and lose other options, counterlives?

Are you in turn a season named and filled with music?
Say then the weather changes and takes the singing elsewhere?

Of fidelity and proximity, the latter is a watchword.

A window. A looking out through lenses
that magnify and conjure up an other
in your place or by your side. Two forms. Two matters.

From expectations of pure pop in flowering trees
down to knee-high scrub, with hope and faith
I tried to come to terms with what was common.

I heard and sang back a little brown bird:
Wish-wish, my little clay-color, coo.

I tried to name what I saw and how I felt
and map a purple hurt as presence through winter.

And then that bird was gone. Or the song,
or the singing, and what's left

is a field where birds might happen:
a mind between living room and evergreens,

A blind so we first see without being seen—
not mentioned in books, found only in looking.


Michael Morse

A Public Space

Issue 18 - 2013


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