New York City skyline at night

Poetry

 

 


Graham Duncan


Not Knowing

I'm sure you will agree
you can't know everything.
In fact, you can't know
even one thing,
one thing being a thing of parts.
So maybe you can know one part of
one thing,
but where does the part begin
and end
since the parts are all connected,
and what are connections
if not parts themselves,
and the word for part
is, of course, not the part
itself,
and the word itself dissolves
as soon as you look at it
intently,
melting into sounds and silences,
and what is the eye doing
as it parses and connects…

 

Winding Down

Laid back?
Easing up?

Guess what!
Things track,
catch up
bear down,
confront,
accuse,
berate,
nag, drag,
needle,
grate, itch,
inundate,
wall out,
wall in,
appall,
appall.

 

Eating Out With Friends

One of our friends
moves his lips
but words won't come —
blips come, splutters,
hissed breath,
hums.

Minutes ago
he was parsing
Othello's plight,
then citing
a scholar's gifts,
limning his treatment
of Shakespeare's
villains, tightly
woven tropes
deftly untangled.

Now, our friend
chews the air,
wordless,
and the talk
edges into
the pasta's smack
of garlic,
underdone turnips —
what stalks him
back in control.

 

 

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