Eratio Issue 17




Of Words in This


by W. Scott Howard





Working here, the imminent

danger is precisely that


we might unravel ourselves

into language, falling for


radiance—visible trace

of an immanence above


our highest windows—something

glimpsed, startling if ever


near translation. Such a world

loved and limned bespeaks boundless


inscapes—dehiscence phrasing

wild impossibility.


Autumnal day inside-out

down & down, over, ever


all into all. So be it.

Too many gone. Fierce trouble


then, hereafter even worse.

Why say unsay, escaping


praise—where to rage, how to weep?

Such songs none can bear. Unknown


in the midst, perhaps reckless

stubbornness misdirecting


the course, a curse or message

behind walls, other voices.


Everything into something

else—nothing again undone


thereby. An “Appell of Golde

representynge this semblance,


the worlde”—revolving sphere, fire-

dwelling stillness. Where’s meaning


in this restlessness for truth-

is-where-truth-where-is? Elsewhere


or afterwards, we embrace

desire’s rough unvessel’d forms—


precarious, tender, mere

fictions. What will they ask, or


will they want explanations,

ineluctable bequests?


Descending in a darkness

questions coil, tighten, grow slack.


For some, a hollow line holds

against unbound wanting ground.










W. Scott Howard teaches in the Department of English and in the Emergent Digital Practices Program at the University of Denver.  He is the founding editor of Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture.  His essays on poetics have appeared in many journals and books, including Denver Quarterly, Double Room, and Talisman; Printed Voices (Toronto), Reading the Middle Generation Anew (Iowa), and Studying Cultural Landscapes (Arnold & Oxford).  His poetry may be found in Burnside Reader, Diagram, Eccolinguistics, Ekleksographia, E·ratio #16, Many Mountains Moving, and word for / word. 



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