Saturday, April 27, 2013


… nothing to say about this …

“Those three dots mark a precipice, a gulf so deeply cut between us that for three years or more I have been sitting on my side of it wondering whether it is any use to try to speak across it.” Virginia Woolf

Three dots. One for the offense. One dot for her feelings. One dot for mine. Three boulders between us. I put the first one in place, then we—I and she—shoved two more alongside it.
An ellipse is something you draw by sticking two pins in your paper and going around them with a pencil and a piece of string. You tie the string to form a loop and then pull it taut around the pins with your pencil. Then you guide the pencil around in what would be a circle—

“In her novels, thought radiates outward, as a medieval town radiates outward—from a beautifully neglected center.” James Wood on Virginia Woolf

The “beautifully neglected center” has two pins in it.
Ellipses are a two-body problem.

Two bodies orbit in ellipses around a shared center. I travel ’round her pin; she travels ’round mine. Theythe bodies—come close together then range far away, never touching. The neglected center is their common ground, common space.

But that hedged-around, elided area is not what connects them. They are bound, like it or not, by their own gravity.
Either a deliberate omission of words or being at a loss for words.

Your ellipses are poetry deleted.

I don’t use ellipses. When at a loss,
I make up metaphors,

Filling the void with things my mind can manage: pins and planets and boulders.

Like those math manipulatives from second grade—bow-tie pasta, bread-bag closures—that help kids understand abstract problems that don’t make sense on their own.
It goes without saying that I cannot climb across the heap of detritus to reach you (or so the formal language goes).

Literary omissions are not entirely opaque.

Those dots are pointed.
Yet perhaps some softness, the corners of the mouth giving way, is also elided?

Ellipses are meaningless and full of meaning, a rainbow within white light. 

“White screen marked by three black dots”: Why not title it “hope”?

… you know why not …

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