Writing

480021

by Howard
Nemerov

The cursive crawl, the squared-off
characters
these by themselves delight, even without
a meaning, in a
foreign language, in
Chinese, for instance, or when skaters curve
all day
across the lake, scoring their white
records on ice. Being intelligible,

these winding ways with their audacities
and delicate hesitations, they
become
miraculous, so intimately, out there
at the pen’s point or brush’s
tip, do world
and spirit wed. The small bones of the wrist
balance against
great skeletons of stars
exactly; the blind bat surveys his way
by echo
alone. Still, the point of style
is character. The universe induces
a
different tremor in every hand, from the
check-forger’s to that of the
Emperor
Hui Tsung, who called his own calligraphy
the ‘Slender Gold.’ A
nervous man
Writes nervously of a nervous world, and so
on.

Miraculous. It is as though the world
were a great writing. Having
said so much,
let us allow there is more to the world
than writing:
continental faults are not
bare convoluted fissures in the brain.
Not only
must the skaters soon go home;
also the hard inscription of their
skates
is scored across the open water, which long
remembers nothing,
neither wind nor wake.

[Thanks JC]

Image: "I don’t care what you…" by icedsoul
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Print it in Moleskine MSK format
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