Waiting on Results

By NICHOLAS FRIEDMAN

In a dark, wood-paneled studio, I’ve sat
for three full days, an eremite with neither
cup nor cause. As hours accumulate,

I watch my thoughts return to one conjecture:
the endgame that is neither lost nor won,
but brings itself to bear on every creature

with rules we never could quite settle on.
Instead we love, and say that it’s enough,
each day approaching the meridian

which marks, invisibly, our turn from life
toward that lacuna of imagination.
We toil like pilgrims up a mortal bluff

that has no view, but is our final station.

 

[Purchase Issue 14 here.]

 

Nicholas Friedman is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife.

Waiting on Results

Related Posts

Image of a statue of a woman wearing a dress in white against a beige background, cover of Ama Codjoe's poetry collection.

September 2022 Poetry Feature: Ama Codjoe—from BLUEST NUDE

AMA CODJOE
When my mother was pregnant, she drove / every night to the Gulf of Mexico. / Leaving her keys and a towel on the shore, / she waded into the surf. Floating / naked, on her back, turquoise waves / hemming her ears, she allowed / the water to do the carrying.

view of valley from mountain

August 2022 Poetry Feature: Nathan McClain—from PREVIOUSLY OWNED

NATHAN MCCLAIN
Had I not chosen to live there— / among the oaks and birches, / trees I’d only ever seen in poems / until then…spruce, pine, / among the jack-in-the-pulpit / (though I much preferred “lady slipper”) / the tiger lily, milkweed, the chickadee / and blue jay, even the pesky squirrel

Park Bench

Translation: Poems by Juan de Dios García

JUAN DE DIOS GARCÍA
He speaks to us of Finnish lakes, of a dialect populated by birds and fruit, of high wooded hills, perpetual snow, a petroleum sky. “In the north they’re raised on melancholy,” he says, “and their dead weigh more than those from here.” He speaks of a Greek father and a war.