Vox Populi

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Rosaly DeMaios Roffman: What Are We Supposed To Do On This Earth

After not speaking for days and days

the voice comes out a brilliant little square

to remind you of the geometry of sound

And you go no louder no matter how you try

with your dwarf-man voice–and I’m trying not

to watch you, friend, reading about desert fathers

and the many holy ways we recognize absence; death,

the cedar waxwing buried in the tree by a door, death,

the province of every person who negotiates laughter


Borges at the end tells us in a line of a small poem

“There are books in my library I know I’ll never open

again” And it saddens me as I conjure up his photograph

with those eyes too large for anyone’s intelligent face,

and since he was blind at the end, once-seeing, like Matisse

or Renoir, what I want to say to you, is not change your life,

but count those nameless flowers that open beneath you

with some sense of their end before they hear budding


The message is not about louder, it is about closer

Copyright 2017 Rosaly DeMaios Roffman


Jorge Luis Borges

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