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The Face of Everything
Mel Kenne


Why not for once just face it:
One tries. One does sometimes.
And sometimes one sees
what is there to be seen and
what is there to be done.
But in the face of everything,
there in the eyes, ah, yes, there
in the eyes of that clouded
mask of the present or past,
sometimes glistening, sometimes
not, is something that one
sometimes with one's own eyes
or mind is not quite truly able
to see. And so one says to one-
self at those times that there is,
or that there may be, in those
stone-framed features, in those
incongruous glances, in those
half-perceptible peripheries,
a problem that one faces.


And then it seems that what
one faces may simply be
nothing, absolutely nothing at all,
but lies. And it may then
appear to one that all one has
tried to do, or all that one has
actually done or seen, is really,
essentially, nothing of much
importance, nothing holding
much meaning for anyone.


And then one might think
to oneself, all right, that was
kind of like a prelude to what-
ever it is that is now to come.
And at this point, which is
something like a new movement,
perhaps one cries, or perhaps
one doesn't. Perhaps one only
sits alone, thinking, contemplating
the innermost nature of the
thing that has appeared to one
as a face that has arisen somehow
before one like the very image
of one's deepest pain, or else
of something that in some other
way is so very personal, so very
essential, that one suddenly becomes
aware that it's now impossible
to return to wherever one was
before one began. So then


one may simply continue walking
on in the driving rain, pulling
one's thin raincoat closer, hoping
that a bus will soon come to take
one home or in the general
direction thereof. Yes, that may
seem a bit tragic, but it's not
yet the end, because, as we must
all know well by now, in the face
of everything life goes on: this
wind and rain are but another
prelude: only there for effect;
they only portend that there's
something more to come, a true
movement that's about to begin,
because now you look up
to see a seagull's black-banded
wing skipping smoothly along
on the grey surface of sky like
a first or last breath of song.


From the Word, 1979. Poems, with drawings by James Surls. Northern Hemisphere Press, co/William Holden II, Rte. 1, Box 1910, New Waverly Texas 77358. $20.00

South Wind, ISBN: 0-941720-22-11. Poems. Slough Press, 1985. Out of print.

Eating the Fruit, ISBN: 983-9568-01-9. Poems. Cedarshouse Press, 1987. Out of print.

The Book of Ed, Compact Disc, 7-50532 01132-5. Poems, with music by Patrick Boland. Ne'er Before Records, 1999. The Book of Ed, P.O. Box 15065, Austin, Texas 78761. $15.00. Or may be ordered through the website: http://www.bookofed.com.

Email: mkenne@anet.net.tr

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