Cole Swensen's On Walking On (Nightboat, 2017), second selection
A second selection of favourite passages:
People walking, many tonight, and almost in rhythm, as if it were a way of collectively resisting the wind.
from 'A Walk on May 31'
Stevenson claimed that the walker becomes the landscape by
the end of the day and the view, a living thing with no sense of time.
end of 'Stevenson'
What is the wander, what aimless shelter, what within
a very small room. Or we could call it a city.
...the gentle persistence of walking
from friend to friend.
And in between, le flâneur, invisible against a forest of ghosts
to whom the slow, wherein the wry, in which a slice of light
amid the blind spot, the white space, the terrain vague, flits.
a cat slips
along the top of a wall that the night draws and then erases.
from 'Woolf: "Street Haunting"'
The cat slips through the cafe, particularly the sidewalk part of it, a few times a night, always clearly heading somewhere else, looking neither to the left nor right, but leaving in its wake this 'we' who affectionately watch it pass.
from 'A Walk on July 1'
For Walser, a walk usually began by putting on a hat. Among a room of ghosts.
To the quiet end, if one could walk the lost. For Walser, to walk was to unfold
an origami bird as a door unfolds a world.
...Walser thought the form of a road beautiful
in itself, citing that its joy exists outside of time, or rather beside it, so Walser
walked along the side of the road singing under his breath to the grass.
Everything good is based therein, he said
again to walk again the very same route turns time into space.
occasion of every glance as each can capture every moving thing
simultaneously throughout the drifting trees....
from 'Walser: The Walk'