FOR JONAS, BY WAY OF MAGRITTE

This table is not a table

This poem is not a poem

And the table holding the paper has no grasp

And the paper has words in a certain order but no wings

And an unassigned purpose has not yet found the table, though it is long and could securely support a live battalion of fingers

And anyone could sit at the table and not bother to read the poem

And anyone could see that there is more to the table than a poem could say

And not bother to remember how the table no less than the poem was made

And also, remember, the poem has to be well hammered as the table was

And so the sawdust tapped into the spinal genetics of the poem

With failure still a struggle, while success is drumming the beat

And the poem continually choking and clutching to make a clean break and escape free and intact

And the table can only rise to an occasion it did not solicit

And the poem can enter unannounced and uncalled for and make the moment new

And though later elaboration can disguise, even mar the table no less than the poem

And the table show its wear

And the poem collapse

This is not the table

This is not the poem

Contributor

Vyt Bakaitis

VYT BAKAITIS, poet and translator, lives and works in Brooklyn. His recent book of poems, Deliberate Proof, is available from SPD.

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