Yet even the most free-spirited writer
must make himself a secret, just to play
the game, which insists that every work of art
be a revelation. Blankness
must be made to assume the guise
of secrecy ("I know a secret! I
Know a secret! And I'm not telling!").
Only then can I unfold myself to you
or unfold you to you --
release the blank page from its oath
of silence, tidbit by excruciating bit.
Like any art, a poem begins with mystery:
What is he saying? How will it all
come out? Who is speaking, anyway?
Sneak a peek at the last line -- no help,
it makes no sense.
"Holmes, where can this twisting argument
be leading us? It feels eerily familiar!
And these odd markings on the page --
can you make any sense of them?"
"Elementary, my dear...WATCH YOUR STEP,
WATSON! That's a personal pronoun -- of the
2nd person singular, I should think. They are
horridly sticky. If you fell into one, I should have
the devil of a time extricating you."
"But Holmes, what does it all MEAN?"
"Ah, see this -- step carefully -- this cliff
where the page ends? Let us peek over
the edge. I think all our questions
are about to be answered."