On Paper

What does it matter—material as in
paper, scissors, rock? Matter of fact,
res facti, not matter of law; res judicata;
mater, wood, in the woods, mother; a
child draws a box, triangle, chimney,
door of paper. A poem a product
suitable for interior use—hollow,
with corrugated support; or a
writing on paper from some wasp’s nest

A game is played to determine matters
beyond law, beneath it: paper covers rock.
Words for “write” in most languages
have a violent origin—cut, scratch,
incise. A few were painterly. To write
in water. To write in sand. To make
a house of paper, a floating.
Writan, to tear, as paper, skin, cloth.

From Light Wind Light Light (Omnidawn, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Bin Ramke. Used with the permission of Omnidawn Publishing.