Sunday, July 10, 2005


the poverty of having everything is not
wanting anything: I trudge down the mall halls

and see nothing wanting which would pick me
up: I stop at a cheap $79 piece of jewelry,

a little necklace dangler, and it has a diamond
chip in it hardly big enough to sparkle, but it

sparkles: a piece of junk, symbolically vast;
imagine, a life with a little sparkle in it, a

little sparkle like wanting something, like
wanting a little piece of shining, maybe the

world's smallest ruby: but if you have everything
the big carats are merely heavy with price and

somebody, maybe, trying to take you over: the dull
game of the comers-on, waiting everywhere like

moray eels poked out of holes: what did Christ
say, sell everything and give to the poor, and

immediacy enters; daily bread is the freshest
kind: dates, even, laid up old in larders, are

they sweet: come off sheets of the golden
desert, knees weak and mouth dry, what would

you think of an oasis, a handful of dates, and
a clear spring breaking out from under some stones:

but suppose bread can't daily be found or no
oasis materializes among the shimmers: lining

the outside of immediacy, alas, is uncertainty:
so the costly part of the crust of morning

bread is not knowing it will be there: it has
been said by others, though few, that nothing

is got for nothing: as I am reconciled I
traipse my dull self down the aisles of

desire and settle for nothing, nothing wanted,
nothing spent, nothing got.

--A.R. Ammons

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