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Page 52

Have any of you tried it? Surely
I've left you a blank page somewhere
in this book. (I could leave
the next one blank, but that's
a cheap trick. I'm not that kind of poet,
am I?) Do you not own a blank sheet
of paper? A table or desk? A chair?

But no, you are a sane person. Sane people
don't sit for a long time, doing nothing
but look at a blank sheet of paper.

How long have you been looking at THESE
sheets of paper? Rules of the game:
I've scribbled on these sheets,
using the agreed-upon letters and words
in configurations that make sense,
or at least mimic talk enough to suggest
the possibility of sense, of a speaker
and a listener -- someone for you to be.

It is OK to look at THESE pages,
because they are not blank. One can know
which way to move one's eyes.

Oh, there are rules we follow
that we know not of. Look at us,
staring at these squiggles
and not doubting our sanity.

Note: Or staring at each other through the squiggles – and through the separation of hours or years or decades.

While I recommend the exercise of confronting a blank sheet of paper -- or one full of scribble, I do not recommend looking for a long time at a blank computer screen or (a la the child in the movie Poltergeist), gazing for a long time at the static of a TV screen after broadcasting hours. Or, for that matter, DURING broadcasting hours. I doubt that two hours or dozens of hours would suffice to neutralize those hypnotic frequencies or recover vision. Some blanknesses (the sun is another) are more aggressive than others. YOU can confront them, but your body's eyes and nerves may be very upset with you.

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