K e n n e t h  S h e r w o o d


T h e  G a m e  S h o u l d  S e e m  t o  S t o p 

. . . possible to be here in time and not thought

--Clark Coolidge

After the fact is the retained note
as reminds or punishes, the effect
could be called damp, but the dry kind

a play is worth what
it wanders, somehow
short of continuance these

words--whom you
never met: fill, name less
and more control.

Change pen to suit mind's
unaccustomed paths in-flow
or 'each one' habitless melodics

having spoken itself is no
feat, as easily, increasingly,
the nouns fulcrum

still poverty among various
interior to nothing
this hand, if followed exactly.

Scaled, shaped, given a prime
spot mid landscape of carefully
hollowed-out phrases

deserted, the word 'muse'
for example the body
leaves diminished by subtle marks

an extensible game
begin again immediately
if you expect to win the prize.

It is through the disorders of the net
that the starts fell from the chaos we
grasp into their original shelves

put the outside
back in its place or
placed the side out back on its . . .

retaining the note
as a reminder or,
after the fact, punishment.

Steer into the skids to be
here in thought not time
tightly worded taking

pulse as downbeat my voices or over
heard phrases people a vocabulary
and knot thought, tightly

in place of loose-lipped: word-bound,
phrases stare into the knot
as tight words give sweep-second hand some scale.

Wire hum in wind, I wish to
speak a word for
ceaseless dialects of body, mind

rawest jargon, the journalese of
the day
& poetry, my love
the play of it should peter out to sense

or whatever it was, behind the curtain
all those years, all a-flutter
with the rhythm of the temple at nightfall.


Kenneth Sherwood has published poetry in numerous print and electronic
journals, the chapbook's That Risk (Meow 1996), Text2Box (Tailspin 1995), 
and on  the Public Radio series LINEbreak. He was a Writer-in-Residence for 
the Just Buffalo Literary Center and founding editor of the early e-zine, RIF/T.  
He is completing a dissertation on Modern poetry at SUNY Buffalo.