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Page 115

Many no-longer-blank pages ago, I said
that the opposite of a blank page is not
a page with writing on it, but a page fully
blacked in. Upon due reflection (I studied
my swollen reflection in a dew drop until
the sun lapped up my reflection), I would amend that:

The opposite of a blank page would be
no blank page. If we load a blank page
with poetry, we have a blank page bearing poetry.
If we blacken it completely, we have
a blank page full of ink (or turned to ash).

But if we have no blank page where now
we have a blank page, just think of all the poems
we could never write on it!

And yet, if these blank pages vanished,
I'd see their stubs stuck in the notebook's spine,
and if the notebook vanished, yet there'd be
its impression lingering on the bed quilt
(where I'd now be writing on air, or my pen
sucked into an eddy of air, rushing in to fill
the book-sized abhorred vacuum). The removal
of a paper or book from existence is not
merely none of something, but the presence
of other things; for example, I could then see
whatever the blank page had blocked from view --
no perfect no-blank-page, but a patterned bed spread
or the wood grain of a table. But that makes
no sense: how can the opposite of one blank page
be the pattern of a bed spread, while the opposite
of another blank page is the wood grain of a table?

And so I conclude (but not for long) that the opposite
of a blank page is nothing, nothing at all,
nothing left of this dry den, all for love,
the world well lost.

Note: In the last two lines, above, where the world vanishes, the "dry den" refers to the poet John Dryden, author of the play (his take on Anthony and Cleopatra) entitled All For Love, or The World Well Lost."

The discerning reader will note that this page is almost poetry.

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