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Page 187

Until we learn again who or what creates
all creation, our lives are successive nothings
we make of nothing. Is the page blank,
or a parody of blankness, a screen hiding chaos,
the empty eyes of a serial killer or the simple
readiness of a child who can be anything
he chooses to be in the next game he chooses to play?

I think I can now get away with oracular stuff,
because for many pages I (slick seducer) have
plied you with silly puns (baubles and trinkets of the trade).
Oh, you've got me spotted, said the leopard to God.

Black pages, to be written on in white ink
would make my paradoxing easier to grasp,
for we're used to querying darkness, entering
an unlit cave or room or forest cautiously, asking ourselves,
is this blackness a black something or a black nothing?
Are there snakes here? Bears? Unspeakable things?
Am I about to step off a cliff or stub my toe
on a foot stool? ("Foot stool": What clings to one's foot
when, in the dark, one steps into a fresh pile of dog shit.)

And which is it we fear most in the dark? That it may be
full of hazardous somethings? Or that it may be
endless nothing at all? No light ever again,
even the memory, the possibility, the idea of light gone.

(I thought of that in a cave in New Mexico, when the guide
said we were a mile down, and I thought, what if the lights
failed, the elevator failed...but in no light at all, no ghost of light,
in time my thoughts would be dazzling, like stars in the night sky
when one gets far from city lights.)

But whiteness (cloak of invisibility) we think holds no secrets,
no maybe in it. We can see there's nothing there to stumble over --
unless it is blindingly bright. The blank page is a tame,
indoor whiteness, just substantial enough to be opaque.
If I move my finger under the page, I see no shifting shadow.
This is safe nothing. Nothing here to see, Folks. Move on.

(My moving finger having writ, your moving finger having
guided your eyes -- let us move on; for all your tears and all
my wit shall not bring back a jot of it, unless you'd like
to read it again....)

But might not white ghosts haunt white pages,
sheets on sheets? One could, while walking, a naked spirit,
toward the rumored white light, step in a pile
of sheet. ("Suit up; you're going on ghost duty!")

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