The sound of my hand sliding back
across the paper like a breath.
The slow exhale of thoughts on the page.
The pauses, like the swallowing
between pants. The nature of it all.
The way one thing means another —
the thing is never the thing, as they
say, as it is said. Breathing as the foundation
of health. Health as the foundation
of life. Life as the foundation — turtles
all the way down. Is there any way
to speak anymore without falling
into the stagnant pool of cliché?
I read the cliché is vastly important
to the memorization of Homer’s epics
and so is foundational to the work of poetry
in general. Is this an ars poetica?
Is any poem? Alternatively, is every one?