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The Dangers of Poetry (for Italo Calvino) by Steve McCaffery

Maybe you don’t like this poem or perhaps you don’t want to read it perhaps you should do something else like wash last night’s dishes or watch TV if I were you I’d try reading a good book or even start to write one but perhaps you haven’t stopped reading this poem just yet while you’re wondering what else you could read or perhaps your interest in this poem has miraculously changed maybe you’re enjoying it or finding it a challenge or perhaps you’re simply thinking it would be a waste of precious time having read it so far to not read it to the end or perhaps there's nothing you can do because perhaps this is a class that you can’t get out of or the start of a conference you've paid a lot of money to attend or perhaps its a punishment prescribed in a minimum security prison you’re now in for five or even ten years or perhaps reading this poem has induced paralysis and you can’t move not even to blink your eyes or perhaps you believe it can’t get worse but it does get worse and you think all these thoughts again and then compare this poem to the start of Italo Calvino's novel If on a Winter's Night a Traveller and that the two might be related perhaps you think that this poem was actually written by Calvino under the pseudonym of Steve McCaffery and then you think that this might be the poem Calvino didn’t write but wished he had and by this time an entire week has passed and you’re still at your desk at the office because you never went home and perhaps you couldn’t have anyway because a friend called to tell you that your house burned down and all your pets and family burned to death because you were still reading this poem.

Ephemera by Steve McCaffery

What's this? Looks like a millennium for maximum embarrassment and quite proteiform in its lack of politesse an obsequious curling to the new philosophy of counter subterfuge but whatever it's doing it's doing it in secret perhaps it's just shot a pragmatist through an organ of transmission, or got hired as a transitory hieroglyph it looks too paranoid to have never read the Bible or is it an island shy enough to not become an archipelago or perhaps a genetic mutation right in the walls of the divine city. Imagine it saying that before it came to grammar as a micro-particle of order it was a thought in the head of William Blake. Reverence always beckons emblems to its New Atlantis to reconnoiter the several incapacities that seal a fate as noise.