Poetry: Writing

Writ­ing
–Howard Nemerov
From The Col­lect­ed Poems of Howard Nemerov

The cur­sive crawl, the squared-off characters
these by them­selves delight, even without
a mean­ing, in a for­eign lan­guage, in
Chi­nese, for instance, or when skaters curve
all day across the lake, scor­ing their white
records in ice. Being intelligible,
these wind­ing ways with their audacities
and del­i­cate hes­i­ta­tions, they become
mirac­u­lous, so inti­mate­ly, out there
at the pen’s point or brush’s tip, do world
and spir­it wed. The small bones of the wrist
bal­ance against great skele­tons of stars
exact­ly; the blind bat sur­veys his way
by echo alone. Still, the point of style
is char­ac­ter. The uni­verse induces
a dif­fer­ent tremor in every hand, from the
check-forg­er’s to that of the Emperor
Hui Tsung, who called his own calligraphy
the ‘Slen­der Gold.’ A ner­vous man
writ­ers ner­vous­ly of a ner­vous world, and so on.

Mirac­u­lous. It is as thought the world
were a great writ­ing. Hav­ing said so much,
let us allow there is more to the world
than writ­ing: con­ti­nen­tal faults are not
bare con­vo­lut­ed fis­sures in the brain.
Not only must the skaters soon go home;
also the hard inscrip­tion of their skates
is scored across the open water, which long
remem­bers noth­ing, nei­ther wind nor wake.

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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