Keaton Studebaker, [Before the wave curls]

Rosemary Bailey, Pencil 13


Before the wave curls—
falls—a provocation, here

                        in every echo.

A whole place found in saying
it isn’t here.

Concreteness I’d hoped for,
heft, & a window on my mind.

You’d like to—the shape of it.
& I like too

take a peak, come right up to the
edge, every once in a while.

Keaton Studebaker


Review by Jared Pearce

The set of images in the first 82% of the poem reveals that the various metaphors and theories we use to understand the world and our place in it are mostly fraudulent.  The speaker knows this and yet he, as we, keeps using them, employing them, seeking some way to come to terms with what it means to live.  At the end, then, every once in a while, and perhaps beyond or despite our theories and metaphors, we do take a peek, get right on the edge of receiving a larger insight.  The pun on peak/peek is a nice way to further the image of the edge as well as to take us back to the wave in the first line, and, of course, also helps us finally see what the set of images was there spelling out in the first place, helping us take a look.

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