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Orchid, by Joshua Clover

September 14, 1997

Seen in the south of that country's south, near the wavefront of total

war: indolent orchid, windowbox auto-da-fe, the year's acedia. The

flower was not about anything & nobody in the house to watch--not

the simplest thing, 12 hours of sun, summer's cool closure. I see you are

curious so let me tell you it was not a museum but a house. Flower in

the flowerbox, ear in the air's cyan arc, mantic green wire. Almost fall

& cool between the mountains & the master war--walking, walking. . . .

Because I am not history I can return "at will" to the house like a

museum--the clothed idea of it, each of us passing, minds delinquent

panic-bulbs, the flower about nothing (we were not attached to the

beginning or to the end, divining nothing, the autumn out there beyond

the museum-house still we could not come to the boundary of the funny

war, secret heliotropes, orchid in the orchidbox, God in abeyance--

From "Madonna anno domini" by Joshua Clover (Louisiana State University Press: 68 pp., $19.95) Copyright 1997 Reprinted by permission.

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