snowflake, a few, a dozen. . . mere flurries;
couple billion more and you’re snowed in.
cancer cell, twenty. . . an anomaly to watch;
hundred thousand and you’re defunct.
or later, Marx remarked hopefully, a
change turns into a qualitative one.
essays lie on the floor, neat as a fresh consignment
mortar shells. In the end, value only comes from scarcity.
ones will be rare, of course, but even of the worthy
can be too many. Jam-pack your museum
seem cheaper. Europe’s got too much
and not enough Vermeer. But the bulk
mediocre efforts, joyless and lukewarm.
smell the duress they were done under.
there were only ten or twenty I’d remark
every paragraph, praise each graceful phrase,
queries to provoke one more foot of delving.
explain patiently why based off of
me nuts; I’d draw a
statue beside its plinth or a Cuisinart
with a battalion of conscripts.
then there might be one emitting a yellow aura,
dead report mais un essai vrai
veritable voyage, not a walk around the block;
trek to a misty meadow drying in the sun;
down a shaft into blackness veined with gold;
ascent of a mountain to a prospect of some
province, prosperous and green.
Robert Wexelblatt is professor of
humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He
has published the story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone, The
Decline of Our Neighborhood, The Artist Wears Rough Clothing, and
Twitch; a book of essays, Professors at Play; two short novels, Losses
and The Derangement of Jules Torquemal, and essays, stories, and poems
in a variety of scholarly and literary
journals. His novel Zublinka Among Women won the Indie Book Awards
first-place prize for fiction.