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The answer I want blows amid scraps drifting like an idea that keeps returning or a prayer for another beginning, lost in the debris. I want the universe that is that language to continue through icy air, the blizzard the news predicts that brings back the chainsaw, burning oak, the woman who loved me, snow white and white and blowing. The picture doesn’t explain the music; notes flashing across neurons I can’t see. But the thing I never realized must be waiting. Mail fills the box, and I want to believe I’ve found the end, but the story is barely started. The war goes on, explosions I don‘t hear kill more, and I can only wait. Often It took several boats to get a whale, they say, of the men gathered on the sea. Call it divine; I’m supposed to believe.


Poet, Biographer, and Editor Barry Silesky was born in 1949 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He earned a BA from Northwestern and an MA from the University of Illinois-Chicago. His books of poetry include The New Tenants (1992), Greatest Hits, 1980–2000, and The Disease: Poems (2006). He has also published a book of micro-fiction, One Thing That Can Save Us (1994). He is a noted biographer, and his biographies include Ferlinghetti: The Artist in His Time (1990) and John Gardner: Literary Outlaw (2004). 

Silesky lives in the shadows of Wrigley Field with his wife, fiction writer, Sharon Solwitz.

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