“Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again…”
We wondered if he’d make it, after years of watching the silhouetted man in the title sequence tumble past the images on the skyscraper. It was the confluence of verb and adjective, he was falling and fallen in every episode. We read it in his gestures.
Poems move us through space of one kind or another. Since so many words began their lives in some action or image (the Latin source of “redundant,” for example, contains the image of overflowing waves), even abstract poetry creates a sense of navigation. In poetry filled with overtly concrete imagery, of course, this movement’s easier to feel, and the shapes described in the movement through the space can be revealing.
Naomi Shihab Nye describes poetry as “a conversation with the world, a conversation with those words on the page allowing them to speak back to you—a conversation with yourself.”
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My boys were enthralled with playing Super Smash Bros. on an old Nintendo 64, so they didn’t notice the black-bearded man in the long, bleach-blond wig, white halter, cape, and white g-string pulled up over his basketball shorts (imagine a dude in this). It was my third Comic Con, so I knew to expect a range of costumes and costume quality, but this was the first where I noticed the cross-dressing cosplay they call “crossplay.”
“Knowing is the responsible human struggle to rely on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit to its reality.” —Esther Lightcap Meek, Longing To Know
We were in the car going somewhere. Our children, Joseph and Jonathan were in the back seat with Bev and me up front. It was nearly Christmas and Joseph was challenging the veracity of our assertions about Santa Claus. It’s you guys, right? Bev and I weren’t ready to abet our seven-year-old’s descent into the murky realm of fact versus fantasy. It’s a yes or a no, he insisted. Stunned by his need for this knowledge, the best I could do was offer a pathetic, Um, well… yes and no.