Philip Rowland

Starting with a line from Susan Howe

       Starting from nothing with nothing 
when everything else has been said:

       in a world of bleached signs
and typos 

      the emptiness of hands
emptying at the piano

The Beginnings of Scepticism
for my daughter

When the page has no picture, how she sometimes turns
a quizzical gaze on me, as though measuring the distance 
between us – my face and hers – my words and her
presumed comprehension? Or merely in mild amazement 
at my devotion – my plainly apparent wish to deserve her?

Late 40s

A strange, interstitial time,
like a no before yes,
grey before blue
shot through with red.


all the signs
say no

exit but one
that says this 

sign is
not yet in use

A Poetics

A locus, a space,
a tether, or measure,

a place to gather
or lose oneself in,

a wall-less room you can
nonetheless knock on.

In Time

flat out under the piano
the expectant mother requests 
la cathédrale engloutie


light rain as I listen
to a held chord
sinking in


in time




torrential rain reading my daughter’s face being read to

Epistemological Situation
Finding one’s
glasses on, forgotten,
in the dark.

Magnum Opus

I and Though

Philip Rowland is the founding editor of NOON: journal of the short poem (2004 - present), editor of NOON: An Anthology of Short Poems (Isobar Press, 2019), co-editor of the anthology Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W.W. Norton, 2013), and author of Something Other Than Other (Isobar Press, 2016). Originally from London, he is a long-time resident of Tokyo.
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