The good poem aims to assure the reader
that there is something beyond the Word:
the Word confines.
We have become a people able only to see what we have classified:
the things that we have named.
There is, however, a world — things — that cannot be named,
will not be named, should not be named … classified;
a world betwixt and between.
It may be considered, sensed, even touched,
but a journey to the world betwixt
is not one from which you may return with tales.
Its flora and fauna are beyond the Word.
Once visited, one is changed evermore,
but the change will not be related: one’s win is a loss.
A loss that will not be quantified —
a gutting, carving, chiseling:
a dugout soul, a man remade … not, any longer, in God’s own image …
… out from under governance, steered no longer.
Language begins and the losses mount:
what is named is concealed,
wrapped, managed, packaged, made fit for consumption.
Once named, a thing BECOMES: it is.
We soon become overwhelmed
by all of the things that have been permitted,
by grace of words, to possess IS-ness,
and our perception narrows:
we see only what is sanctioned — what ridges peak through the cloud tops …
… inured to the idea of the value of the Word.
In the blessedness of the Word
we were made to believe;
with the Word, light shone on the children of men —
order entered the corporeal world.
Symbols assumed names, were described, became legion, were shrunken:
the symbols were robbed of power; the totems felled.
A new enemy was named:
That which cannot be named must be expunged,
cast out and away.
Wards the men by the new God were made.
And Native action was now accompanied by an unbidden companion:
the descriptor …
with which all intention was thought to be made plain.
Intention is made plain.
A bridge was erected to mend a rented space, a tear …
between they who could see absent language
and they who could not;
between they who with gesture commanded
and they who could but growl their way to satisfaction.
The Word is too much with us.
Reveal = re-veil.
Classify, or to classify, means to withhold, as by censorship.
The object of the Word is not withheld from us,
though we treat language as if it were so;
as if the object were other than it is: concealment …
… and that concealment is the objective of the late-coming Gods on Earth.
✖ From the Novel, Orchard Park and Other Works