Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (The Force of What’s Possible—Issue 47, November 2014)

Michael Rerick
The Package: Process, Moss, and Book Delivered

Something, a bit of moss, grabs our attention and an idea projects. Process and the moss idea collude to form the project’s attention. A green attention catches in a package in the project’s general shape, say, like a cushion. The mossy package culminates, presses, and sometimes spreads like a book.

A book packages attention with anticipation. Like mail, we wait for it, see taking it off a shelf. A hidden project projects the packing label and waits for our attention to respond. Whether the contents are known or unknown, opening is a thrill.

The packing label can be insightful, or not. A label may read: poetry/fiction/subject, philosophy, autobiography/biography/history/theory, paratactic/narrative, science, art. Or Petrarchan. Or hybrid. Or Pulitzer Prize-Winning. Or grown on the north side.

A knife/hand slits the package and the project is carefully searched out.

The mysterious package entices. The pillowy contents excite or disappoint. But the spreading of page stems nonetheless draws the eye.

We joyfully ship first contact with the moist, green project because we project ourselves into the project’s soft attention. There is only the edge-blunting project; the package is forgotten. Shipping labels are forgotten. The mind reaches and the project of our attention reaches back. The project sits on various shelves, but its reach is shelfless.

If disappointed, the book grows brown, fuzzy and dies. If titillated, the project takes root. The package is recycled. We neglect or nurture and spread the book’s mossy underpinnings.

Our attention shifts when we return to the shelf. The project sits and the attention shipped cannot be un-projected. Idea spores have transferred. We now project part of our attention sprouted in the project sitting on the shelf.