In a poem that rings the changes between “hang on”, “hold on” and “hand on” there is a concluding openness in the lines that brush up against attachment to confer upon the reader a line without punctuation that suspends the imagination, leaves it hovering over it knows not what, word or world. From “Where Things Come Together” in A Possible Landscape by Maureen Harris…
What I mean to tell you.
Naming is another way to hand on.
In this country anything
I think it is vital to the experience of these lines that the verb tense is inflected to the present or even the future — what I mean to tell — and then the present reasserts itself in an almost timeless manner with the strength of the copula in defining what is naming. And then the whole thing explodes and the periods gone in the last line make in a retrospective move the other previous periods provisional so that a hindsight sort of enjambement inhabits the lines each handing on something to the next and abolishing the full stop and making it into a pause.
Harris gives us more of the delightful acute attention to small words in a play on somewhere/somehow at the conclusion of “Emblem” in the same collection.
only a choice of directions and I am going some
how at every moment I am still going on somewhere —
There is no moment in which I am standing still.
And here a period closes the poem but we know that it doesn’t mark a standing still but leaves a strong mark of arrest for the “no moment”. The period is still a stop but the “I” escapes in a movement all its own.
And so for day 1068