“The world has to be dreamed
before it is seen.”
“We grow mostly by dying.”
“Runs in the Family”
Geezer me, I must be on the verge
of knowing everything. Even what
knowing is, me the nervous kid who
smiled with his mouth open, the cowlick,
the nightmares, the unusual gift for
imitating what I thought were doctrines
and the stories that proved them pertaining.
My eye had to learn what I had to
untangle or have no life truly my own
and then to betray both to something
like oblivion. Moreover, does not
the Good Book adjure us “if thine ‘I’
offend thee, pluck it out.” I know
it doesn’t name the first person pronoun
as the likely villain in the adventure
of learning, but I know it is, from
a lifetime of giving it up in sacrifice,
in return for what it tells me to write.
What do I care if learning is part spite.
South of the South
ISBN 978-1-944682-09-5 $10.00 80 pages
Gordon Osing is Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at the University of Memphis, where he founded the River City Visiting Writers Series.