Summer 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 3 Poetry |

A Reader of Mysteries

    "a book too mad to read Before one merely reads to pass the time." He reads to pass the time, and it seems to work: Time passes. Often as not, he reads in bed In the winter evenings at the edge of sleep, Aware of the digital clock across the room Sending him numbers in an emerald light Remindful of the tomb.     The mysteries he reads Are soothing to death, which now is not the end But the beginning, the motive and the springFor all succeeding, as the psychopomp Follows the unknown through the labyrinth Solving for x and blackboarding to the group, Until in a secret chamber of the dream He meets and renders up his minotaur. This is recurrent with him, and if sleep Has not arrested him before the end He starts another, still unsatisfied And often enough unable to understand Or even to remember the extravagant Unscrambling of the false appearances Or merely to see the little numbering light Of the revealed truth. Very like life itself, He tells himself, as the addi

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To Dante

By Howard Nemerov

    "a book too mad to read Before one merely reads to pass the time." He reads to pass the time, and it seems to work: Time passes. Often as not, […]

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