How the mind works still to be sure
You were the white field when you handed me a blank sheet of paper and said you’d worked so hard all day and this was the best field you could manage. And when I didn’t understand, you turned it over and showed me how the field had bled through, and then you took out your notebook and said how each time you attempted to make something else, it turned out to be the same field. You worried that everyone you knew was becoming the field and you couldn’t help them because you were the one making them into fields in the first place. It’s not what you meant to happen. You handed me a box of notebooks and left. I hung the field all over the house. Now, when people come over, they think they’re lost and when I tell them they’re not, they say they’re beginning to feel like the field and it’s hard because they know they shouldn’t but they do and then they start to grow whiter and whiter and then they disappear. With everyone turning into fields, it’s hard to know anything. With everyone turning into fields, it’s hard to be abstract. And since I’m mostly alone, I just keep running my hand over the field, waiting.
Copyright © 2011 by Jennifer Denrow. Reprinted from California with the permission of Four Way Books. The title of this poem is taken from Samuel Beckett.