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The Writer Over the Page Is Driven Down But Like a Robin by a Worm.

The Writer Over the Page Is Driven Down
But Like a Robin by a Worm

   script gravitates, poem leaping
   at dark ladders,
   --urgency of pursuit--critical
   mass once reached, one
   Ovids, pursuit slights how
   bodies change--they do--
   --sleight of hand, trompe l'oeil,
   Arethusa in a cloud of mist,
   what lamb feels when wolf's jaws
   rip shed door--
   Alpheus persists birdily, footprints
   into mist--she sweats, sweat streams
   a spring watering away
   underground--we need
   to witness our own limits
   transgressed--urgency ruptures
   --who had been running
   seemed flying--and were

MS Fragment: 8--Date: ca. 1425-1450--Origin: France (possibly Paris)-- Current Location: Marriott Library, University of Utah, Special Collections, Rare Book Division--Materials: Ink, and burnished gold on vellum--Size: 7 1/4 in. x 5 3/16 in.--Illustration: Detail, border--Section: Office of the Dead, Vespers --Script: littera gothicatextualis

   lit border
   place setting
   scribe sets--rinceaux
   sprays, gilded ivy leaf,
   bryony tendrils, gold pave
   buoyancy--motor cells in
   the pulvinus synthesize
   bouncing light, convert
   eye movement, displace
   page's gravitropic
   polar auxin transport--
   downwarding becomes lift

Codex: Ibid., Book of Hours of the Virgin--Section: Suffrages of the Saints --Page: 127 verso--Illustration: St. Catherine, crowned, holding sword and book (Detail)

   lit vellum
   opens channel--page surface
   veil through which
   vision crosses into
   --not window into--
   --paneless plane broken--
   picture's penetrative
   thrust--vertiginal verging,
   verge in--e.g. Catherine
   of Cleves' Hours, Nicholas's
   suffrage--border as if vellum
   melting, pie crust
   revealing saint--hole pulls
   us through--Sancta
   Katherina holds sword
   dimensionally adrift from
   matching fly--nothing
   unlike the sun can see it
   horae for laity--forwhomness
   interpolates reader--but page
   imagines beyond us,
   conjures presence left
   behind bypassing
   other--imaged, Lazarus
   rises again--logos' traceable ghost
   in the breath--grace--
      --if Menalcas' lover cuts her
   feet on the Rhine's jagged ice,
   he will carve letters into
   little trees--pastoral
   obliterates itself--his voice will grow
   as they do--
          --to fresh woods
   and pastures new--Arcadia is
   an interval--Elysium an interval--
   so is any island--the page
   no abiding place--we pass
   through--we go
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Author:Babbitt, Geoffrey
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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