Apologia for Slipping Off the Wobbly Pivot of Language While Attempting to Capture Something Vaguely yet Acutely Felt

Charles Wright bird

Q: What do you see as the future of poetry?
A: Oblivion.

Ever since I first noticed “my blood
setting out on its long journey beyond the skin”
I have been pondering that line.
I wrote it, sure, but

What the hell does it mean, you know?
Must be part of the dark speech of silence,
I guess.
But it’s here, and so are we.

So I keep rephrasing the question
Hoping the answer might somehow change,
Becoming accessible.

Or at least that, you know,
It might make sense
One day.


The line in quotes is from a poem called “Buffalo Yoga.” ‘Nuff said. Some other lines are also from that poem, or from some other poems by Charles Wright. A few of those are also quoted in a book called “Understanding Charles Wright” which, obviously, I have not read. Other lines I made up.

The quoted language is from Daniel Cross Turner, “Oblivion’s Glow,” an interview with Charles Wright that appeared in the summer, 2005 issue of storySouth magazine

The image is a collage of Jim Marshall’s iconic photo of Johnny Cash from his 1969 gig at San Quentin State Prison, and Holly Wright’s photograph of poet (now laureate) Charles Wright.

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