I have nothing to say
and I am saying it
and that is poetry.

John Cage

13 comments on “Nothing

  1. Blackberry Picking

    Late August, given heavy rain and sun
    For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
    At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
    Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
    You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
    Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
    Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
    Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
    Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
    Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
    Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
    We trekked and picked until the cans were full
    Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
    With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
    Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
    With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.
    We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
    But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
    A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
    The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
    The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
    I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
    That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
    Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.

    seamus heaney


    • Bill says:

      Thanks for sharing that. The best poetry is created, of course, when the poet does have something to say.

      The wild blackberry brambles here have sent out the little green leaves that come before the blooms that come before the berries that never keep long. They are best made into pies right after they’re picked.


  2. beeholdn says:

    …and so there!

    A happy Easter to you and yours, Bill, and many blessings.


  3. Bill, some days are just meant to be quiet and reflective. Have a great Easter weekend.


  4. Eumaeus says:

    Turns out, saying nothing is very similar to saying everything. And here we are, embolden to confront both. Thanks, Bill


  5. Less is more, more or less. 🙂


    • bobraxton says:

      in a grain / of sand the / universe


      • bobraxton says:

        A. R. Ammons refers (I’m having trouble locating the exact reference) “… chiseled monuments to the past” and I like the analogy here (below) that talks about “movement into monument” (the real poetry is the movement, the process, the voice, the vibration, the motion …):

        Gizzi’s Artificial Heart is a carefully chiseled book of poetic wonders.

        The oxymoron of the title is certainly one dichotomy that fuels these poems. … the Tina Modotti photograph on the book’s cover arrests the hands of the puppeteer in mid-motion, converting movement into monument, … Gizzi offer a many-chambered book whose artifice belies its heart. Nowhere in the book is this point driven home more forcefully than in the long poem “Pierced,” in which “the heart of poetry” is explicated amidst an incredibly visceral gasp and rush, memory colliding with techne as they move through the thanatopsic throat:

        The heart of poetry is a hollow (hu-)man
        a heteronym, a forensic test, & casino chip
        a long distance call


    • Bill says:

      Your last post reminded us that a poet sees poetry in everything. Cage even sees it in nothing.


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