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The Empty Notebook Interrogates Itself

The Empty Notebook Interrogates Itself

The empty notebook wonders
about its own existence. It wants
to know how blank space
can fill a void, how emptiness
can be a burden. When
a page detaches itself,
the empty notebook feels pain
ruffle its edges. The empty notebook
thinks emptiness contains something
more than nothing, but is filled
with possibility, with longing,
with the urge to start from scratch.

Identity Crisis of the Empty Notebook

I am not the empty notebook.
My pages do not glitter blankly,
spiraled in a smirking cover.
My words don’t harbor silence
to cover what I’m saying. Their
non-existence fills the page with
undercover images. My insidious
presence wallows in a squamous
future, but does not covet the seething
void or fill it with a truant absence.
I’ve been cubby-holed, coastered,
doodled and dined-on, winked at,
cut and fingered. I’ve been high-jacked,
kidnapped, tossed and kissed, stirred,
caressed and shaken. My abuses of
language shatter the sky ─ who cares
if I say banquet when you hear heartache ─
My shadow cracks the sidewalks,
darkens light bulbs, breaks through
doorways while my shredded cover
shrieks from every trash heap.

The Empty Notebook's Lost Memories

Before the shelf: a paper bag -- the stick
and sheen of other notebooks? Or was it
Paris -- an African tango palace, ebony
women pressed against yellow-suited men,
the heat of lunging bodies? Or was there
a dim bedroom in Washington Heights,
a man singing a thousand-year-old lullaby,
with no words, no hope? Maybe there was
a forest -- waving shadows, drizzle, shriek
and murmur of wind, birdsong, scent
of moss, humus, pine sap. Yearly cycle:
bud/flower/leaf/drop. The sun's arc
beyond branches, moon's sweep in
tree-tops. Hum of life before the fall.

A Joke

A rabbi, a priest and the empty notebook
are flying over the ocean. The pilot's voice comes
over the intercom, "We've lost our engines,"
the pilot says, "The plane is going down."
The rabbi says the Shma.
The priest recites the Twenty-third Psalm.
But the empty notebook folds itself
into a paper plane and flies itself to Paris.