Douglas Messerli

The Hole



In the hole
but names in sand.

We call it writing
to the left of the hand
because we never say
"desert" or "flame,"
or "wall" or even "the difficulty
of passing the I of the needle
through what is sown."

A painted flower
cannot grown into Pinocchio.
The wooden duck.
And ahead, the dune cries
for the wilderness, beholding
its slip of effort. Even the foot
tracks. The body is fog, the words
swallowed up as the ocean of birds
fallen upon a prey. For in name
of the father the son was sent
to kill the outside, while within
they kept the nothingness.

July 15, 1998, Los Angeles