Excerpts from “In Pieces”


Tone Deep


No sound is less than a sound or more. But music keeps us from hearing each one by itself. Says John Cage. It is a pity. No mother tongue unless a mother. Or many books demanding we enter their superb monotony. What tongue would not allow us to say you in the deep sense, intimate? Years of melancholy, errors in pronunciation. Something in the middle slows down. So many times a day I do not speak any language.




Sunset Theory


To feel an idea is difficult. And rare. A private fluency of figment and frontier. A splinter in the sky. Let’s not get sentimantic. The word “reality” is a word. Atoms are unpredictable, a warp in a continuous field, a gamble against the powers of disorder. But grammar can unpack a sentence it has taken you so long to understate. What open window? What thin but penetrating light?

Rosmarie Waldrop is a poet, novelist, essayist, and translator, with over twenty books to her name. Her new poetry collection, The Nick of Time, is out September 2021 from New Directions.

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