Shackled to my narrow theme (a book
of blank pages to be filled with poems
about filling blank pages with poems),
I can say, it seems, anything,
be as serious or silly (or both at once)
as I please. Though, taken singly, most
of these pages would be snipped to pieces
by any workshop, yet, read as a group,
the various discordant voices on any given
(very much given -- but received?) -- any
given page join similar voices on other pages
to become intertwined threads (doesn't that
sound pleasing to the critical ear), winding
through the "greater work."
I relearn here the old lesson: Find restrictions
to find freedom. By limiting my theme, I'm free
to range. A kite can't get away with wild
cavortings in the sky without the tether
of a strong, taut string.
If I walk up to you, stranger, on the street,
there is little I can, acceptably, say to you.
But on paper, in sonnet form (or whatever
it takes to identify "poetry"), I can hold forth
on my sexual preferences, fears, the stickiness
of burrs, how a spring morning is still
a spring morning or any damned thing.
Now I write in the strictest -- and thus,
the richest -- of forms: each poem must fill
a blank page.
Note: Each poem must fill PARTS of a blank page. The parts of
this page not filled with ink were intentionally left blank, including
the holes in the o's. Of the interstices between molecules of ink
we say nothing. (Except "Of the interstices between molecules
of ink we say nothing." Logic is so much simpler paradox
free without nothing. No wonder the Romans preferred not
to discover the so-called number, zero.)