The pen misses on the upstroke
and scores the paper. A generous hand
taking up a lot of space. Likewise
the setting's large point size, lacunae.
Meaning sinks in like drops
from a sudden shower
ink on blotting paper, bleeds
into the air the reader breathes
plummets in the body's wellspring
the 'void eternally generative'.
The poet sits in an adjacent chair
shirt unbuttoned to hoary abdomen
his recitation oratorial
The sun comes out in the garden
cat crawls on its belly over baked clay sods
betweeen agapanthus and montbretia
luminescent waist-high seedheads.
This is the signature, this his presence
this is how the ink flowed
this is where it missed and scored
the paper like a hung nail.
Copy number 66 in an edition of 1626
at latitude 43o 32' south, longitude
172o 32' east — George Oppen was here.
© Graham Lindsay