Let this lie on a shelf
Or in a drawer, lightless.
Don’t try to read this,
Don’t try to right this.
Let it lie one hundred
Days. This, not that.
And to pass the time, try.

Try to fry a shrimp chip
Without frying fingers.
Try to pluck the petals off
A maelstrom lily. Try
To fly. Try to die
To the world without
Leaving it for a minute.

This works thus. It clicks
And, with luck, goes.
Pale prophets leap out of
Crazed frescoes. Snow
Peaks burst, hot magma flows,
Locked in a sounding box
Of images and echoes.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 4 Number 3, on page 36
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https://newcriterion.com/issues/1985/11/this-not-that