Completing Candor

Gwen Benaway

The last poem ends : “yes, I admit I lied / this body / knows nothing / I can call / home.”

The postscript ends : “and I turn back, / reluctant and confused, / to life.”

Cast out of home the persona is positioned as turning to life. The trail runs through some of the most figurative language of the collection, in a passage about abandonment (note the tension between voiced passivity set in counterpoint to wish being voiced – a very poetic act of volition) …. “I only wanted to chase / the end of day / to the hem of night / and sit there / among the new stars / in a body of spun grass / until language / abandons me / and I turn back / reluctant and confused / to life”

That mention of “hem of night” evokes a memory or an echo of an often quoted image …

It is evening; the day is gone, fast gather and deepen the shades of twilight! In the words of a German allegory, “The babbling day has touched the hem of night’s garment, and, weary and still, drops asleep in her bosom.”


But sleep evades the speaker — the chase is done; language will not abandon her. However reluctant she may be she hovers between words and body.

And so for day 2816

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