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  • Carrie Etter

Cole Swensen's On Walking On (Nightboat Books, 2017), third selection


Herewith a third and final round of passages!

...a green hillside in Gunhill as evening fell

just as it was falling somewhere else as it was collecting in a doorway

in which a woman leaned, smoking a cigarette, trying to remember a name.

*

And from there

the déjà vu, described as though he'd never heard of the thing, and so for him,

of course, it had no name, and so for him, it couldn't end, and so the most

mundane things, the rake, for instance, or apples held out on a tray, also

took on a permanence that greatly extended the sky.

*

In fact, taken as whole, this is

a book about gardens, about their indelible darkness,

about how, dark as they are, you walk down their long

avenues of overhanging trees down which no one has

ever walked before.

*

It's a book, really, about trees, about

their tendency to grow in lines, to line up and then walk off

in their lines, intact.

from 'Sebald: The Rings of Saturn'

We are guided. We are we.

*

...light can seem to strike light

in a spear that breaks, but we are used to the broken, and so built a library.

*

...memory as ornament, lavishly unfree.

*

All

night is a way of walking of rocking with the dark.

from 'Robertson: "Seven Walks"'

You can buy On Walking On in the UK with a good discount (at the time of posting) from Blackwell's.

#ColeSwensen #NightboatBooks #OnWalkingOn

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