THIS SOFT WHITE PAGE

by Runa Svetlikova


THIS SOFT WHITE PAGE

We read cerebral light pollution, streetlights

on a world gone mad, with photons jumping from this black-on-white

 

colliding with the dark side, it takes no longer than 150 milliseconds

to read a word (which word? – this word: word).

 

Each line of every letter fits each cortex perfectly, meaning

is burned into our brain – but poetry makes nothing happen

 

someone said who knew he was lying even before this poem

lit up intelligently connected sections of the brain on the scan.

 

Even analogue we’re binary: now the epic stories were declared dead

all that’s small gains meaning. This poem is also a biological incident

 

with possibly far-reaching consequences. We shifted our orbits

but are still no closer. Words continue to count

 

in contracts, laws, on borders, on everyday paper crude deaths

occur for want of the applicable stamp. Only poetry

fortunately makes nothing happen.

Translated by Willem Groenewegen