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Jacket 16 — March 2002   |   # 16  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |    

Joe Brainard feature

Paul Hoover: Winter (Mirror)

Photo of Joe Brainard

                                    — for Joe Brainard

When the windows
are silent and
thin as language,

snow falls into
rifts and valleys.
Everything changes,

even the trees
cease their breathing
in the smooth

night air. The
one world shines.
As a hand

draws aside its
exponential curtain,
the only no

spoken the length
of the sequence
knows its mind.

The temper of
water waiting for
its shape in

the unrelenting
rush of things
in their freezing.

The vacant shuttle
returning to earth,
its voices heard

on last year’s
tapes, these signs
also lurching out

to history, where
the unnerved god
sleeps on its back.

In that secret
place, one simple
branch strict with

attention lashes at
your eye. Thank
appetite for heaven

and also the
singing’s late green
leaves, thin in

the flurry, where
the deepest houses
sink and bright

smoke rises. Not
this and not
that, not even

winter asking what
you’re after on
a brief afternoon,

which of course
is pale in
cold porch light.

To be without
speech the solitary
staging: a touch

after dying or
breath in its
harness turning and

turning. There is
nothing the sun
cannot explain,

nothing too clear
for ice of
mind steeped in

its season like
body and desire,
tree and belief.

Jacket 16 — March 2002  Contents page
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