Reading The Blue Clerk, 140

“Verso 38.3”

In one imagination: it is the place of death because life has been imagined so narrowly. The writer says to imagine thrival, that all conditions—not those ones, but sometimes those ones—yield possibilities for thrival. So, they see their unmaking only because they cannot imagine relation.

On a road like this you don’t know where you are.

When I was younger, I, too, imagined that the best way to learn a city was to walk it, getting lost in it. And then I realized that I liked the familiarity of places I had been, the experience of noting small changes: and this sign has a new chip, and that pigeon has moved its nest, and the trashcan has a new dent. These, too, are details.

The clerk may choose right this minute to step out of the car and walk into another room.

There were green spaces, small parks that were barely used, tucked away in ways I could tuck away. I carried pens and paper and fantasies of men who saved women and women who called being saved love. Romance.

From the air the desert is a brown paper with lines and wrinkles. On the ground you are at the beginning forever or in the middle or at the end.

The poet sets his lament in the desert. Where sound will move in and through and gather space and time and fold into the unending ongoing. Grief may live here from the time before time to the time after time. No one will tell it to stop. Loss saturates each grain of sand.

(And why am I always returning to grief.)

You are in the middle all the time.

Not to lose orientation. But to abandon the fantasy that you need it.

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