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This is Jacket 13 - April 2001   |   # 13  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
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Jeanne Marie Beaumont

Skill (a.m.)

I have four eyes and wake before dawn. A fuller understanding is my mission. I can only wonder at what further leavings there are about the house, across the lawn. Traces. Scents. Discarded elements from the living creature.

I could fathom more if I knew more words. This thought precedes me like a small flag. I am pleased by what the air dangles before my face. A walking under pressure. Here a bird chirps by pure instinct. Here a beast leaps as into a heedless tomorrow. No. That’s not right, not the word. The beast leaps into the (wordless) atmosphere. Like a. Like a. The beast eludes me in its leaping. The opposition grows. The nameless opposition to the self grows by the minute. Sirens, planes, something falling out of a hand in the next room. Water running away into a day which has not yet begun to measure it. Take pleasure in the coming world.


I am thinking skill, writing kills. It is an accident (why won’t someone believe me?). I have already lost the eye that takes aim. I am outside now and moving toward you. Toward some body. I have already lost the eye that idles. If you lived here, you’d feel at home now, not an intruder. If I wanted you here, wouldn’t I have left a key? I have already lost the eye that blinks. Links. I see this as the beginning of a rare but minor disorder. Not rare, rampant I meant to say. I was right on the brink of writing one word instead of another. Precipice/edge. If you sense that suspense, do you still want to live here in all disturbance and all indetermination?

Dawn. Curiosity rouses the cat. Sight kicks in. Then language. We are in for it now. It nudges: half nuance, half nuisance. See how you can hover on that punctuative fulcrum. See saw. See, saw. Is it safe to go on? As long as it appears to be, we go.

New American Writing # 19 and Jacket 13   Contents page
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This issue of Jacket is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
published in the northern spring of each year by Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover
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