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Understanding fog.

Maybe it was excruciating--a layer in the terror--a seemingly simple, appropriate edge--it was out there, threatening always, to come in. Inside, adjacent to what was artificial you sensed it as a path to the heart, not so much a journey, as a heart itself, beating rapidly, in a body, as a layer, about to be opened by means less artificial than it seemed, as if it were that simple. And it was. Perhaps there is another way to come at it. From the point of view of an animal outside its den. It seemed, on the outside, it was the center of an edgeless heart. retracted to the limit, as if in always almost coming, there would be no danger of losing it and yet where'd it go?--nothing artificial, loose-limbed and, in the end, so simple. So with utter simplicity neither in nor out, what was artificial about it was so hidden in the heart of its mystery, you could come close to it as one feels a layer of time. I came for the first time to the city almost simple in my desire to reach beyond the layer of fog straddling the hills like a God. But there was no beyond out there. That was a concept, artificial, like a body without a heart. Its coming always nearer gave the illusion there was a simple way to understand it. But such an understanding is artificial, as one would carry out a plan and miss the layer in between. There are always one layer more than we could see from outside always coming toward us even in retreat like the artificial sense of time, pervasive, exclusive, exacting as a heart.
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Author:Glancy, Gabrielle
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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