the shape of what is not there


the shape of what is not there

I’m not sure why this seems to be
the week for a mutual meltdown
but there is a tsunami of tension
even the schnauzers are surly

they know the whole thing has gone
to the dogs as we say and they
resent being made the metaphor
why couldn’t we have gone to the cats

the truth is we can’t go anywhere
other than away from each other
past empty buildings and cancelled
gatherings and get-togethers

masked and melancholy we skirt
each other for fear of contact
all that makes us human and alive
has been distanced absented

our inarticulate anger fills the shape
of all we have lost no are losing
this is all in the present tense
we don’t know what is next

our leaders speak in abstractions
opening economy best in the world
our pains are particular and personal
capitalism offers little comfort

life as we knew it is missing
so is touch and hope and ritual
tradition community and ceremony
the virtual proves itself vacuous

and we are starting to figure out
that we are in the middle of it all
not the end not whatever’s next
all is not lost there is more to come



  1. Did you ever read “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”? The author writes the first section of the book without punctuation marks to convey the never-ending, frenetic pace that Stella lives. She gets her groove back and the punctuation marks start showing up. Aaaaaaahhhhhh. I need those commas, periods and semi-colons. Felt the same way reading this.

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