Paris Review: David Ignatow’s prose poem “Why Can’t I Be…”

Posted on January 10, 2013

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“Why can’t I be an empty house falling into decay, unaware of myself? Why can’t I be the sky empty or the river flowing into the sea senselessly or an empty plate or knife or fork, whatever is but does not feel itself? If I were the grass that covers the graves I could forget being human. I want it taken away. The sun is sparkling on the waters. Why should I not be the sparkle rather than the eyes that show me the difference in myself. Shine upon me, sun, so that I become lit up like a sunbeam.”—David Ignatow, “Why Can’t I Be…”Art Credit Ellie Ga, Fissure 5: 83N, 2E, 2008–11, Digital C-print.

“Why can’t I be an empty house falling into decay, unaware of myself? Why can’t I be the sky empty or the river flowing into the sea senselessly or an empty plate or knife or fork, whatever is but does not feel itself? If I were the grass that covers the graves I could forget being human. I want it taken away. The sun is sparkling on the waters. Why should I not be the sparkle rather than the eyes that show me the difference in myself. Shine upon me, sun, so that I become lit up like a sunbeam.”

David Ignatow, “Why Can’t I Be…”
Art Credit Ellie Ga, Fissure 5: 83N, 2E, 2008–11, Digital C-print.

3:04 pm  •  9 January 2013  •  127 notes

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