from THE LOSS FOR WORDS
“I couldn’t live,” she tells me. “If I really believed you die and that, that’s the end... Well I just couldn’t live if I believed that.”
I believe... actually, I can think of nothing I believe.
And find it hard to see what difference it would make, my believing or not. Difference, that is, to a possible object of belief. What is, I suppose, is, whether I think so or not.
No doubt I—believing some notion, likely or unlikely—would be different from myself disbelieving the same notion. Or myself undecided. Or unconcerned.
I’m told I deceive myself. I’m told I do believe, believe that—for instance—the sun will rise tomorrow morning. Well, certainly it seems likely.
If that’s all believing means, I’ll admit to a sort of scale. I’m fairly positive the sun will come up tomorrow, whether or not it becomes visible. That it will rain tomorrow I think, but not with anything like the same approach to certainty. An earthquake is unlikely. I see no reason to doubt that night will fall and the dead will not rise. (“INTERVAL”)
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
as part of above/ground’s prose/naut imprint
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
Cover image by the author
Keith Waldrop is the author of more than a dozen books of poems, including Transcendental Studies (U of California Press) which won the National Book Award in 2009, and, from Omnidawn Publishing, Selected Poems (2016), The Not Forever, and The Real Subject. He has also published a novel, Light While There Is Light (Dalkey Archive) and translated Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil and Paris Spleen: Little Poems in Prose as well as contemporary French authors like Anne-Marie Albiach, Claude Royet-Journoud, Paol Keineg.
He is retired from Brown University and lives in Providence, RI where he edited, with Rosmarie Waldrop, Burning Deck Press.
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