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Sunday, May 25, 2014


Something and Nothing                            Katie Ford
In the month my brother began to love a married woman,
the month the lantana took all the heat of late summer
into its orange sanctuary blooms, bearing it, storing it
as if for some suddenly-cold October night, he let her be.

In a twilight in which we are told the stars are portioned
into patterns like goblets and horses and archers he slid
her photograph into a copper frame welded
at the edges with a darker wire melted against it

and in. And it became
something of untiring capacity, growing
like the miles of hollowed land stunned and crafted
so far before us the metallic light of morning
that we could never imagine
unmade the land,
then towered the rain down, centuries worth,

to make a lake of what was gone, desire in which he let
her be and waters where the tired
but living carp swim back and forth. 


We thrive, in part, when we have purpose, when we still have more to do. The deliberate incomplete has long been a central part of creation myths themselves. In Navajo culture, some craftsmen and women sought imperfection, giving their textiles and ceramics an intended flaw called a “spirit line” so that there is a forward thrust, a reason to continue making work. Nearly a quarter of twentieth century Navajo rugs have these contrasting-color threads that run out from the inner pattern to just beyond the border that contains it; Navajo baskets and often pottery have an equivalent line called a “heart line” or a “spirit break.” The undone pattern is meant to give the weaver’s spirit a way out, to prevent it from getting trapped and reaching what we sense is an unnatural end.    Sarah Lewis in The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery


The Pieces That Fall To Earth                           Kay Ryan

One could
almost wish
they wouldn't;
they are so
far apart,
so random.
One cannot
wait, cannot
abandon waiting.
The three or
four occasions
of their landing
never fade.
Should there
be more, there
will never be
enough to make
a pattern
that can equal
the commanding
way they matter.


“I know that I have an instinct towards math and cleverness in structure that I work against, and so I try to make something … I make this whole structure which takes up a cork wall of index cards, and then I feel that is the architecture of the book, and what you do with architecture is that you cover it completely . . . And why I am driven to make something this complicated I don’t know. It’s just a pleasure for me always in all kinds of reading and fiction to know that there is some kind of clock ticking in the background. It could be rhetorical device, the way that language goes in the book. That there’s a pattern to it, because it’s nice to feel when you close the book that there’s a pattern to life.” Andrew Sean Greer in an interviewwith Michael Silverblatt on KCRW’s Bookworm 


Time                                                    Robert Creeley

Moment to
moment the
body seems

to me to
be there: a
catch of

air, pattern
of space— Let’s
walk today

all the way
to the beach,
let’s think

of where we’ll be
in two year’s
time, of where

we were. Let
the days go.
Each moment is

of such paradoxical
waterfall that would

flow backward
if it could. It
can? My time,

one thinks,
is drawing to
some close. This

feeling comes
and goes. No
measure ever serves

enough, enough—
so “finish it”
gets done, alone.


Desire is, among other things, a function of repetition, or so the very patterns of your life have led you to believe. John Keene


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