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  • Writer's pictureSam Needleman

He Has Scraped the Scales

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

By Sam Needleman

After Elizabeth Bishop.

Up and over from the river that can never be flowing and drawn. Up and over, letters Barely bas-relieve themselves from brick by brick:


Is it a relief to herald a thing with its sworn enemy? (Its just cause, which will be just, is damned.) Probably not, and I don’t keel over on the sidewalk. I just keep looking at the damned cause, which juts and juts, casting shadows, wanting analogues. I need a trinity of damning heralds to align like herring scales:


I know these stillborns, drawn up from elsewhere— that elsewhere is unhistorical knowledge. And antecedents can’t gut me like a fish and hurl me back into the river because together they are not in, of, toward time. They can only gut air and minds and with static thrusts relieve themselves from the brick. And when the corner relieves, unlike the undammed river or the bricks cut from its silt, It is flowing, and flown.


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