Time’s Thought

Fanny Howe

The ordeal of dying must be memory, so much seeing and losing forms.Friends whacking at invisible ankles and you. The action is done in a dream. Who did what? The closed book, the feetasleep.Proof that you lived is that you kept notebooks. Are you collecting material for dreams, she asked the audience.None of them remembered collecting or dreaming.Nothing specific, that is.For a book, no.They lay down that night not looking for a real thing but for a way back.A dream broke time apart.You’re allowed to fear the coming hallucinations, she added.You met me at the subwaywhere tracks led east toNorth Station and onup to Cape Ann.We were almost romanticNot knotted but erectside by side passively waitingfor an apocalyptic collision to rupturethe grave tension between wholly consciousontological thinkingand the steel pebbling motion of trackssparked into action by a fiery touch.We smiled our way forward perfectly even.To be described as a note that separates from a song and blows away.When you are down to nothing more to call onOR you can say I walked Manhattan from sundown to dawn.So I have traveled the world.I walked by foot all over dungeons to see a film starring friends—Americans.The ceiling collapsed from heavy rain and artificial colors condensedalong the sidewalk. One puddle looked just like the world-marble.Time had thinned for gravity and a speeding appleSince time was lightweight and invisible.Manifest, unbelievable.A faraway landAnd a hotel I never visitedIn a ghost-book half-erasedYou could tell I was in love with a non-entity.This was the hardest part assigned to me.During my brief tenure I loved loving bestOne who didn’t exist.In the early days, it was the opposite.Nature (all of it)Did exist and loved itself.Clouds doted on the sea, amorousnessWas in the air returning every wave and sigh.The squirrels told the oakTo shake its acorns downFor the poor dirt to eat.

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Fanny Howe has written many books of poetry and prose. Her most recent was Love and I (Graywolf Press). She has won many awards and was a finalist for the International Man Booker award in 2015.



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Founded in 2000 and based in Montreal, Vallum magazine is published biannually. Vallum provides a forum for emerging artists to interact with more established figures while giving them exposure and the confidence to continue with their art. As one of Canada’s top poetry journals with an international focus, Vallum encourages dialogue between Quebec and the rest of Canada and allows Canadian artists to exchange ideas with acclaimed and emerging artists from the United States, Britain, Ireland, Australia, India and other countries around the world.

Vallum pushes boundaries and invites the exploration of different worlds and perspectives. In addition to poetry, Vallum also publishes essays, interviews, book reviews, and visual art.

Notable past contributors include P.K. Page, Paul Muldoon, Franz Wright, Charles Simic, Les Murray, Jan Zwicky, Stephen Dunn, Karen Solie, John Kinsella, Fanny Howe, George Elliott Clarke, Andrew Motion, Erin Mouré, Peter Redgrove, Nicole Brossard, and others.

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