Wednesday, August 4, 2010




Now I slouched in my cab and did nothing.
And I stared at the sycamore
and I saw that it didn’t bend in the wind.
And the high crows didn’t move much.
And I stared at the fields and saw
a corona of dusty
cornstalks. Workers

lying in rows and their hands
were cracked. They lifted
the dust to their mouths and they put the dust
in their mouths so as not to taste what they put there.
Their faces they pointed skyward. And

there were hogs
that did not want to move and so were led.
The slaughterer raised his knife and his hands
remained up. And

I stared upon the waters and beheld
the hogs there and they drank less than an ounce,
it was nothing. (How great the span
between zero and one.)

And they moved in due course.


This passage can be found as the epigram to Mary Ruefle's collection of poems entitled Tristimania (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2004). It follows that text literally in some places, and evades it completely in others. Where the text comes from originally, I have no idea.

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