Tuesday, March 01, 2016


Billy Hathorn, "Walnut Springs Park, Seguin, TX," 2013

The weight of the container itself should be
considered. If this were a sonnet rather than
its thin ghost, a tare scale would feel the form
press down as heavily as if I’d put a thumb on
the pan. But the container here is light, its line
breaks untied, ragged; the poem evaporates a
bit while I try to get an accurate read. It makes
shifts in tare inevitable, makes it impossible to
get any reliable measure. But that’s fine—the
mockingbird's a featherweight tare compared
to the weight of its song pressing on my heart;
the sedge around a stock pond is a tare of no
account compared to those carp swirling gold
in its cloudy water, a pirate’s treasure drifting
Brownian above the soft mud. No adjustments
will be made to our tare scale; this light, those
fish, that birdsong, can’t be contained, in fact.

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