Jean Day
from The Literal World


The Buster Keaton Analogy

Hat in hand.

Half of description had been completed
when he opened the door
for the person going nowhere who is
                                                       more of a panorama
                                           than a clannish analogist
with a glum mouth. We needed a bath
again, having demanded our own horizon
                                              over which
the other half of description would just be killing time
(for me, an occasion of pleasure and repetition)
Of course the passage of the present—a letter
                                  written by a mother on a sail
                                             to a son behind bars—
is used to stop a bullet on the run
whose moral nature fills us like a glass
                                                       or instance of the sun
in empty boots
refusing to go on, but shining