Absence of Detail

by Debbie Calverley
criticalpoet.org
Third Place, February 2010
Judged by Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar


Today there is nothing to write
serious or otherwise, the wind blows.
Ridiculous to sublime the snow falls
scoops of vanilla ice without the cream.
Around the room’s throat, dark hands
of night close, while candles wax
their poetics onto tabletops, the cat’s
silhouette looms in the hallway
her tail a taper, the colour of flame.

The round of moon reminds me of a shape
his head cradled against a black cushion –
Tonight there is nothing to write.


This poem moves from image to image, from scoops of ice cream to the dark hands of night, from the flame of a cat's tail to a surprising use of that old standby, the moon. Also a poem about poetry, it becomes a poem in spite of the poet's most common complaint. --Joseph Millar and Dorianne Laux

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