Joshua Clover

(Berkeley, California)

Field Effect - Poem by Joshua Clover

For 8 months he lay in bed over the

difference between "the bell rings" & "he rings

the bell." Did those 2 "rings" SOUND

DIFFERENT? The invisible disturbance which

is the bell's vibration beating at the air—a

FIELD EFFECT—does it shift with the

ringer's will? This, he thought, was the

smallest difference between things which the

human mind could hold (or almost hold, the

thought-of-it falling away from the thinking,

a penny rolling to the horizon & so to

sleep . . .). He couldn't get up. It became clear

that he was the murderer. Everyone knows. A

man standing at a podium reads from notes.

In the audience people nod in immaculate

suits, women & men. When I am done

someone will transcribe what I say into speech.

It will not resemble my notes. He is just THE

THING between his notes & his speech. This is

only fair, that he be the air. Some of the

women wear hats with feathers in them, wild,

candescent. In the audience is a boy named B,

not the letter, not the note. Another sound,

neither letter nor note—

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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 30, 2013

Poem Edited: Monday, December 30, 2013

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