Robert Haas (© 2007)

To make layers, 
As if they were a steadiness of days: 

It snowed; I did errands at a desk; 
A white flurry out the window thickening; my tongue 
Tasted of the glue on envelopes. 

On this day sunlight on red brick, bare trees, 
Nothing stirring in the icy air. 

On this day a blur of color moving at the gym 
Where the heat from bodies 
Meets the watery, cold surface of the glass. 

Made love, made curry, talked on the phone 
To friends, the one whose brother died 
Was crying and thinking alternately, 
Like someone falling down and getting up 
And running and falling and getting up. 

The object of this poem is not to annihila 

To not annih 

The object of this poem is to report a theft, 
In progress, of everything 
That is not these words 
And their disposition on the page. 

The object o   f this poem is to report a theft, 
            In progre   ss of everything that exists 
That is not th   ese words 
            And their d   isposition on the page. 

The object     of his poe is t     repor a theft 
           In rogres f ever hing at xists 
Th is no ese w rds 
           And their disp sit on o the pag

To score, to scar, to smear, to streak, 
To smudge, to blur, to gouge, to scrape. 

“Action painting,” i.e., 
The painter gets to behave like time.

The typo would be “paining.” 

(To abrade.) 

Or to render time and stand outside 
The horizontal rush of it, for a moment 
To have the sensation of standing outside 
The greenish rush of it. 

Some vertical gesture then, the way that anger 
Or desire can rip a life apart, 

Some wound of color.