MEDITATION ON CIRCULATION, BY DEAN RADER
Cy Twombly, Untitled (1967)
How does a line point to where it does not go?
How does a note rung into an empty room remind you of silence?
How is anything a sign of what it cannot be?
Our days are a tiny book that can never be filled,
no matter how much we write,
or how little we erase.
Is there any secret in skulls, asks Stevens,
things go round and again go round.
Nothing on this earth is straight—
not the sky, the sea, the self—
Even colors curve
in the light of their swerve toward the other—
What does not begin can never end,
but in one’s ending lies the trace of beginning.
I think of you,
in the unending blankness beyond the beyond:
repetition its own beauty
Dean Rader is the author of Works & Days, a debut collection that received the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize, and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). His 2014 chapbook, Landscape Portrait Figure Form, was named by Barnes & Noble Review as one of the Best Poetry Books of the year. He coedited Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence (Beacon, 2017) and is a professor at the University of San Francisco. Rader was named a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry for 2019.