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Page 6

Another day,
another blank page conquered,
or so we readers think, our eyes
obsessively drawn to the ink squiggles,
ignoring (how else can reading happen)
the surrounding blankness,

as if islands
(lands of is, lands where our eyes land)
sprinkling an ocean
should be thought to conquer ocean,
rather than to provide points
from which to view what surrounds us,
perhaps IS us.

My ocean of blankness today is a page
and what surrounds that page; for example,
the green bed sheet against which
now it rests, air, light, my awareness
of being aware.

But I've made this page speak - to humans
of this or neighboring generations
who know my language and can read and can
make out my hand-writing.

Ah, but the blankness hides all
that can be spoken, of which is darkened
but a single broken thread out of quintillions
held in blankness. Trivial, yet marvelous
to be able, from such a rich weave, to elucidate
(or the opposite -- to darken) a single thread.

Note: Mechanically, the ability to read depends on our being able to ignore the blank spaces around the letters – that is, the "negative" shapes of those spaces. Imagine learning to read the white on the page, as a shape carved out by the letters. Artists relish interesting "negative spaces" in their paintings, hope, for example, that while our eyes take in the nude lady, our hearts are captured by the graceful forms suggested by the spaces between the body and its arms. Trying to read letters on a page with that sort of attention-spanning would be a challenge for most of us. Can you hear the silence from which my words pitter patter to the page?

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