Wednesday, April 24, 2024


How many words do you need
To stitch together a ghost?
A case can be made for one—

Ghost, or any synonym.
A better case for just one
Can be made by countering

The first. Just as you can say
The word ghost isn’t a ghost,
Only a label for one,

The way the word chair is not,
Definitely not, a chair,
An actual chair, you’ll note

That the word chair is the ghost
Of any actual chair,
And now there’s an argument

That any language label
For any tangible thing,
Anything experienced,

Is a ghost of that thing, that
Experience, as Plato
In the dreaming of ideals

Both suggested everything
With a name carried a ghost,
Or just was a ghost, because

It wasn’t the real ideal,
And meanwhile, the ideal real,
Never quite experienced,

Was the ultimate haunting.
Let’s say every word’s a ghost,
But that’s dissembling. The ghost

Isn’t the word. The word God
Is a most material
Thing in every offering,

And yet, if used as a name,
It drags a ghost, many ghosts,
All its possible meanings.

No word does that on its own.
The ghosts that words can conjure
Are infinite as meanings,

Infinite in every word,
But the whole system, the whole
Method of making meaning

Must be in place for one ghost,
Any ghost made of whole cloth.
Words haunt you. You must haunt them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.