20170321

Jim McCrary



An Essay That Shrinks  (I-X)

I

Who are my peers.  Who, you know, do I stand by.  Are they even alive.  Are they as invisible as I feel.  

These are not questions, you guessed that, no.  I don’t feel obligated to complain.  I don’t feel compelled 
to complain.  I don’t feel cold enough to complain.  So why.  Now.  Am I at the end of my rope. 
  
Plank. Fence. Wall. Do I creep or crawl again.  Sagged and worn.   Scruffy.  Not cute.  Not fluid.  Leaky.  
Lucky.  And not enough titles to make someone notice.  Weighed down.  Weighted down.  Again.  

Do I have enough to get me through.  I will not describe what it feels like just to see it in print.  All you 
have to do is look.  Can you do that.  Who am I to say what you might think.  Have I been around that 
long.  What will you say when I can’t say anything.  Should I stay up for 40 days writing it all down.  

How many more pages.  Is that what it takes.  Can I care enough.  All the time in the world.  Left.  Wasted.  Who says that.  




II

They are just a word.  Love.  Just a bit of spare air come out of the mouth or lung or whatnot.  They
come and go with astounding emptiness and gather what little life remains from some old thought you 
had.  Why do we put them up so high.  Why do we bother to remember.  Why we do.  

All the time we spend over them.  We should perhaps more often not.  Remember what goes up.  Never 
forget each.  Catch them if you can.  And then do no harm. You might want to realize what you say.  And 
how. Just because it always says reflected.  Sometimes re count and re sound alike.

All things considered and said.  A lot.




III

I wanted to say something about that.  Not the article.  As if it was.  Is.
Going along as if it was is the notion come to mind.  Always after.  Always was.

Now just reminded that lost mention of known habits speaks aloud.  
You cant trust what remains after taking away the thought  less.

Tossed is a good description and has been over used by many before now.
As if breath had anything to do with much now or then.  More now.

All things considered this is done.   Well done and finished.  No need to fuss.
More or less.




IV

In this world.        In     this   world.                 In                    this                             world.

Made up on a moment as varied as any found here or there.   Far there.  That meant.
Should it be buried as a thing that no longer is a matter of fact.  Or just used as is.

What seems to matter now and again.   Again usually wins over now.  Just now we came 
and went.  Just how we came is sure.   Not so sure if recalled.  Was that it.   

To catch a phrase is momentous.  Not lose the catch part of that.  Like a breath.  

Deep but not as deep as back then.  Shallow becomes common.  What can be done with that.
All learned then used up.   




V

Pause is as good as any.   More pause rather.   Not just stopping  long enough.  Stopped he did.

When that is used up and that too is used up.  Then what comes is common enough to have said why.
Not.  Is as good as any for sure.  Something said remains a good option.  Nothing options more than.

What remains not just as option.  Or as lately found has some ground gained in a visual sense.  
Nothing always goes.  Something always goes.  Always remains and reminds that either can be lost.

This then as example of what.  Not to question.  Let us pause.




VI

Gather enough and you have that.  A long thing.  Length measured by pagination.  
Unless beyond.  Not becomes all it attaches too.  Some have made a life of that.

Now we search for something to replace or replate.
No more of that.  No more of that either.
Just because it looks con fusing.  Looks like that.  Made to.

The focus come out and then floats away.  Not unlike that other ‘thing’.

You know what it sounds like but what does it look like.




VII

Is it right.  Right enough to pass or fade or simply lie.  On or off the page.  
Does it rise.  Can it compete.

Not wasted yet.  Probably is a good option here.  What becomes visible and 
then becomes meant.  Or is that the other way round.  Rounded now.

Have you thought about leaving this page.Without paying attention.  
Without saving something.  Wrong again is just repetition and that solves nothing.




VIII
You can erase but only a little bit.  But doesn’t always remove the bit.

Meaning can catch up in astounding ways.  Never in pictures.

Words alone.  Words along.  Words all wrong.
That is what done means.  Nothing ever done right

Finished perhaps is listed as close enough.  Yet doesn’t 
that quite miss the match.




IX

Becoming something that doesn’t appear to be less than 
what we thought it might be in the first place.

Second place is for not learners like those.  There is no after.
That is for the others.

Not us.       Us maybe.       But not us.




X

Does it all come down to what is left either here or 
somewhere called either like the one out side.

Or another line of word left alone on a thinly described
object called look once again seeing isn’t necessary to hearing.

Nothing said is quiet.  But nothing read is even more lost in all this. 

Something thinking out loud which is silent in the end



Jim McCrary lives in Lawrence, Ks. Latest publications include A Year Book from Shirt Pocket Press and All That from Theenk Books. He is the honored mascot at the 8th St Taproom Poetry Series curated by M Kaminski at a downtown Lawrence dive bar. "We do what we can." he says.
 
 
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