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Palimpsest

with Paul Swadel

imagine a time
before the first printing press
where paper is precious
so precious
you have only one piece
and every time
you write a page
you must erase it
to continue writing

imagine a TV set
screening 25 frames
every second
25 pages
written and rewritten
every second
with no past or future
no signpost no

imagine a time
where memory is precious
so precious
you have only one
and every time
you live a moment
you must erase it
to continue living

what’s the time cries the child
copying your voice
as a reminder
you can’t do without others
you have only one chance
is it time to go because you don’t know cries the child
to get an answer
you must remain silent
in the corner of the passer-by’s eye

you don’t want to watch
without time to comprehend
you lose the sense of
belonging ‘here’
without ground or sky
you scatter your eyes
hoping they will grow
destinations

look who’s talking
copying your voice
why is it time to go cries the child
answer
you try to explain God knows how
so you can get some ‘where’
you just remain silent
with the value of a negative number

22.2.1996, Victoria Street West/Belmont Terrace, Auckland.
Paul Swadel wrote the left column.

 


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