Most explicit— the sense of trap as a narrowing cone one's got stuck into and any movement forward simply wedges once more— but where or quite when, even with whom, since now there is no one quite with you—Quite? Quiet? English expression: Quait? Language of singular impedance? A dance? An involuntary gesture to others not there? What's wrong here? How reach out to the other side all others live on as now you see the two doctors, behind you, in mind's eye, probe into your anus, or ass, or bottom, behind you, the roto- rooter-like device sees all up, concludes "like a worn-out inner tube," "old," prose prolapsed, person's problems won't do, must cut into, cut out . . . The world is a round but diminishing ball, a spherical ice cube, a dusty joke, a fading, faint echo of its former self but remembers, sometimes, its past, sees friends, places, reflections, talks to itself in a fond, judgemental murmur, alone at last. I stood so close to you I could have reached out and touched you just as you turned over and began to snore not unattractively, no, never less than attractively, my love, my love—but in this curiously glowing dark, this finite emptiness, you, you, you are crucial, hear the whimpering back of the talk, the approaching fears when I may cease to be me, all lost or rather lumped here in a retrograded, dislocating, imploding self, a uselessness talks, even if finally to no one, talks and talks.
From Selected Poems by Robert Creeley. Copyright © 1991 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Originally published in Windows (New Directions, 1990).