Saturday, July 9, 2016

Collection (a poem)

By Eric Meub


e.e. cummings would have understood
Melissa’s rubber stamps as but a game
To fix one’s typographic neighborhood.

A thousand stamps, no two of them the same,
Were curated like fragments of her own
Rosetta—bird and blossom, bordered frame
And twined cartouche—which (being left alone)
I chanced to glimpse (her fears at no time tame
Enough to trust them to my curious grip).
At first her Left Coast circle placed the blame
On East Coast quirks or past librarianship.
Did she, perhaps, need myriad ways to maim
The virgin whiteness of a title page?
Each rubber weapon, though, was clean: no flame
Of prior firing stained with ink the sage
Atlantic clarity-of-planes that came
To summarize her hunger for the East.
Not one of them was used, not one laid claim
To ever having been impressed, at least.
Go through the drawers: you’ll find the guiding aim
Was multiplicity, a counterfeit
Egyptian no Champollion could defame
For testaments no skeptic would outwit.
Let go, my love. This carrier’s too lame
To leap abysses or the psychic debts
I’ve spied sum-totaled in your eyes: a shame
Shut up with magic glyphs in cabinets.
So much for wreathing language round a name.

Copyright © 2016 by Eric Meub
Eric Meub, architect, lives and practices in Pasadena. He is the adopted brother of the artist, Susan C. Price. They respect, in their different ways, the line.

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