SECTION NINE
  POETRY PAGE ONE


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COLUMN FIFTY-TWO, OCTOBER 1, 2000
(Copyright 2000 Al Aronowitz)


(Photo 1995, Sunday Star, Auckland )


ZERO

                 for Mark Peters 

      Not just nothing,
      Not there's no answer,
      Not it's nowhere or
      Nothing to show for it - 

      It's like There's no past like
      the present. It's
      all over with us.
      There are no doors... 

      Oh my god! Like
      I wish I had a dog.
      Oh my god!
      I had a dog but he's gone. 

      His name was Zero,
      something for nothing!
      You like dog biscuits?
      Fill in the blank.  ##

* * *

Age

Most explicit--
the sense of trap

as a narrowing
cone one's got 

stuck into and
any movement 

forward simply
wedges once more-- 

but where
or quite when, 

even with whom,
since now there is no one 

quite with you--Quite? Quiet?
English expression: Quait? 

Language of singular
impedance? A dance? An 

involuntary gesture to
others not there? What's 

wrong here? How
reach out to the 

other side all
others live on as 

now you see the
two doctors, behind 

you, in mind's eye,
probe into your anus, 

or ass, or bottom,
behind you, the roto- 

rooter-like device
sees all up, concludes 

"like a worn-out inner tube,"
"old," prose prolapsed, person's 

problems won't do, must
cut into, cut out . . . 

The world is a round but
diminishing ball, a spherical 

ice cube, a dusty
joke, a fading, 

faint echo of its
former self but remembers, 

sometimes, its past, sees
friends, places, reflections, 

talks to itself in a fond,
judgemental murmur, 

alone at last.
I stood so close 

to you I could have
reached out and 

touched you just
as you turned 

over and began to
snore not unattractively, 

no, never less than
attractively, my love,
 
my love--but in this
curiously glowing dark, this 

finite emptiness, you, you, you
are crucial, hear the 

whimpering back of
the talk, the approaching 

fears when I may
cease to be me, all 

lost or rather lumped
here in a retrograded, 

dislocating, imploding
self, a uselessness 

talks, even if finally to no one,
talks and talks. 

From Selected Poems by Robert Creeley. Copyright 1991 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the author. Originally published in Windows (New Directions, 1990).

Copyright 1997-2000 by The Academy of American Poets

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