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About this Poem 

"This is one of a group or series of 'Experiments in Voice and Character'; it is either the first or the last, I haven't decided, but so far it is the only one that announces its thematic material in its title. The divinatory practice it concerns itself with is the reading of cards; it concerns itself with longing for an answer when we cannot have an answer, the intense longing that provokes a certainty that there is a way of knowing if only we had it. And then we do."
—Rebecca Wolff

Experiment in Divination: Voice and Character

Rebecca Wolff

There is a curiosity that knows
I know

deathless ceiling of unknowing
I know

Querent,

Who I ask
is changing

all the time

changing
now changed.

How else is one to know

How is one to know how to proceed

the course of action

a non-reflective surface

a playing card on a wooden picnic table
a knot of knowing on a node of playing

How is one to know

How else is one to know how to proceed

How is one to make the motion against


And there’s forever
and that’s a mighty long time.

Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Wolff. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 7, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Wolff. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 7, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Rebecca Wolff

Rebecca Wolff

The founder of the literary journal Fence, Rebecca Wolff's collection Manderley was selected for the 2000 National Poetry Series

by this poet

poem
I stopped by to see you but you were not home

marshland

the pure vision

my ancient lives all risen up and rising



shudder in my bed to come up against

a living religion; they get offended so easily;

blow up your hundred-foot Buddha

no problem. Entire mountainside.



Presumably it's an improvement

on
poem
I'd like a 
lidless 

Vicodin. 
Oblivion.

Countless 
sensation of him

leaving the room.
Come back soon.

It occurred to me
fait accompli.

Clinamen.
Phantom limb.

Black cat sleeping
(you used to be

next to me)
next to me

dreams our lost 
telepathy.
poem
Half a day is dead already--
a lady with a baby in the shady graveyard
promenade not quite the idea
but the first idea to be impressed
so firmly--Grace to be born

in the
bisected quadrangle
stones propped insensible
but all in relation
to the babe.

Babe what suckles
babe what grows comfortable with thieves in