Adrian Dannatt performed this poem during Paul Pagk's artist talk on May 5th, 2013.


I draw the line
I draw the line
At poems that rhyme
Or reason’s blind
“What does it mean?”
You see what you’ve seen,
It is what it seems,
Variants and themes
Cracks, links, unstitched seams.

That ‘line’ rhymes with ‘rhyme’
Should not itself define
The contours of this thing of mine,
But I can not define
Another’s art by such smudged signs
Of wonder or the times.

I was spun a line,
A lie of the land or hand,
To rise and then decline
To read a palm not a poem
To know where we are going
Each spoke now showing
Unspoken debts still owing,
The fortune-teller’s web a web of knowing.

Reading the lines,
Reading the line
From finer and finer
Down to fine,
Like the sure decline
Of stock-market or Alpine incline
Into sunset’s solid glow

The way the light
Lights us so
With bars of darker
Shadow thrown,
Bars of music
Whose staves are ruled
To horizontal latitude
Through which we move
Note by note, dust by mote,
As if to prove
The arrow of our narrow life-line
Draws on forever, blots and stutters,
Dissolved by the sublime.