Reading The Blue Clerk, 153

“Verso 42”

And if they should ask how it is to have lived with a book, I can say I arrived when I could, stayed for as long as I could bear it, and left when I needed to.

I know all about it and knowing that a philosopher has written about it gives me no peace.

But have you read, they say. But have you read, I said. A bibliography is not a salve. Though it reminds me of children rushing to a crying child to offer sorry, a chorus of sorry, a swelling of sorry, an abundance of sorry, enough to stop bleeding, to heal crying, to repair a world.

But the part of me that is in life is in pain all the time.

Ubiquity contains worlds. It started as an examinable word. And soon named a surround. Where time and space turned into sensation. The world as experience. Experience as the world. Something shrinks and enfolds you. Pain can be this. Or the world’s edges wrap tightly around you and mountain and volcano and sea and hurricane and you are being held by the violence of motion and still.

I knocked on the door and he did not answer at first, so I knocked again.

How do you live with this? This feeling? And worse, this knowing that feeling like this persists? No. Not worse. To know is not to intensify or to manage, only to feel differently toward another kind of knowing. It is not that the words make feeling live. A doctor asks for a number.

I was shocked.

But how do you persist with this knowing of feeling? How does it not manage the feeling of feeling? Is this naive? Persistence might be this unknowing of banality. Or knowing to live with.

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