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XIII

ANNUAL FLATS
Constable's Tree Trunks
The years grow yellow at the stem.
The years drop--Endless space!
The years, like working needles, hem
us in their constant race:

The fatal Musics mount aloft
(and we sit down a-hushed ... to hear
the maddened horses passing soft-
ly by) & disappear 16

^{16} The first stanza speaks of the paradox of time passing us by while at the same time it yet encircles us endlessly. Time is nothing (space) AND it is specific (things do not voyage through Time but merely rearrange their molecules in place --and you cannot assign 'time' to a molecule that swings back and forth as if it were itself travelling back & forth through time!): The autumn "leaves," "flats" are horse races. The thing I have sometimes asked myself is: Why this assumption of the tragic? The work is obviously a sort of dirge, to begin with. The final dissolution is so general, so thorough that we are not even sure which is it that is disappearing ("us" or the "horses"). The horses are certainly passing. "We" are certainly stranded on our back sides. But that's just about all that we are certain of: The rest "disappears" so completely that we don't even know exactly what it is that does disappear!

I never feel I have to be overly-cautious in selecting my words (since it was never my intention to write for people who make little or no effort to participate in the experience of my works). Those who only contribute a more or less superficial reading will always 'get it wrong' no matter how carefully I select my words (for the sake of their limited involvement): I probably do not have either the time or the patience to instruct. (It's taken me a lifetime just to compile these casual notes!) I am doomed to trust to the taste and intelligence of those conscientious enough (those few whom fate & luck cast across my verse)[email protected]

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