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   Jacket 33 — July 2007        link Jacket 33 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

Paul Violi

This piece is about 3 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Paul Violi and Jacket magazine 2007.

Reprinted from Overnight, (c) 2007 by Paul Violi, by permission of Hanging Loose Press.
You can read Michael Quattrone’s review of Overnight in this issue of Jacket.

Finish These Sentences

The qualities I look for in a subordinate are

A situation in which humor might be most unwelcome is

After considering which is better, to be wealthy or wise

My greatest sense of personal fulfillment depends on

It’s one thing to champion a sticky empiricism
But it’s another altogether different thing to

I think of myself as a caring professional who as the days
And nights tumble by like woozy pandas trying to achieve
A position conducive to procreation

She had an accent that turned eyes to ice, heart
to hard, and transubstantiation to

From the bloody throats of those dull-colored birds
That scream at the sun,

As a patch of grass and wildflowers where lovers lay
Begins to revive, so too my mind once oppressed by joy

In that one moment when they begin to flap
Frantically in their doomed arc, the great books I fling
Off a high balcony almost

A complete individual is one who

Now there are hands, lovely hands that have played
Rare instruments in the dark and thrown
Many a burning basket into the wind, and there are eyes

I like to think my superiors value my ability to

It is easy for me first thing in the morning to scoff
At questions like how many angels can dance on a pinhead,
But such figments, especially when immersed in paradox,
Oxymora and the like, don’t seem so frivolous when we
Recollect the most intense and memorable experiences of our
Lives, experiences that in one moment produce a state of
Devastating superflux, of many simultaneous, powerful and
Distinct if not contradictory feelings, that when captured
In words not only allow the closest thing to prayer that the
Faithless can rely on for solace, but also remind us how
Figurative speech provides a refined atavistic satisfaction,
Especially evident in the way deeply imagined metaphor by
Enlivening objects reawakens the residual susceptibility
Of the primitive, superstitious mind to fetishism and

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