Daily Archives: May 15, 2010

On Literary Criticism

The curtains
that fall across the light

when we try to explain to each other
how we put our fingers
on the mercury
in the language
that we use

are damask
and metal-threaded
and heavy

and they block the window
from which enough light
would come in
to make the slippery little domes
shine enough
for us to catch them

We all understand
how the words refuse to be corralled
at our mere command

but cannot explain the methods of the chase
other than to say

it is difficult
and it requires an openness
to seizing them on their terms
as if they had minds of their own
and lives they seek to lead
independently of us

Some will invoke
a muse as the keeper
of their skill at the hunt
and others will speak
of rules and skill and craft

but in the end
we all know
if we let the light in
and scramble enough
we catch
what we need

and those damn curtains
just get in our way

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