The Trouble

Tell me who decided– I suppose
we all decided–
but that’s a fallacy, and a truth
and a ghost, or many
ghosts who haunt me, people

I have never met–

they shimmer, they deceive
or disappear
as suddenly as meaning–

fucking meaning–

it’s the stilts beneath the house
the storm that stirs the ocean
washes out–

something’s always up,
something’s always holding something

the more precisely I try to say this, the more precisely
it disappears: meaning

the house collapses, the house is a house
no more. I discovered the funniest, cruelest joke
today! Meaning once meant

a great man lived
in the sky, and he allowed me
to live on the earth, so long
as I believed in him, that is, and in which case
this great man would let me live
in the sky with him
someday: the sky! which would become the new earth
beneath my feet, another set
of stilts to wash away, another

search! Another! Even there, up there
another yanked chair, a bottom with a bottom
to remove (and now

the words become again)
the things themselves, so I am walking
through a world of words, I open my mouth

(I open my eyes) I say, I am born

I spring up, a jack-in-the-box in the book
of my life that holds me–

the book that is the earth beneath my feet.


About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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