Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Robert Okaji: Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket

Dear Daniel: How fortunate we are to tap into this medium of ether

and zeros and ones and all the combinations employed in our paperless

context. I am drawn to the concept of text as textile, as an entity

woven into the fabric of communication. Who knew that simple lines,

dots, dashes and squiggles would someday depict so well our

abstract beginnings and fingered desires, from counted goats and

jars of oil to the tattoo on a beloved’s inner thigh. The gap between

thought and graphic representation, whether on paper or glowing

screen, seems heightened these days, in spite of their ubiquitous

presences. I scratched my name onto the frozen creek’s surface,

only to watch it subsume as the mercury rose. I report this only

because you’ve scribed too well that feeling of treading on uncertain

surfaces, of words expanding in meaning and dragging us along

separate byways, fork into fork, under and through what we

never considered. That is our fate – to emerge from the pocket,

folded, wrinkled and smudged, smelling of makkoli and fish

markets and unwritten phrases stored in rice jars, our personal

creases expanding as we inspect the characters found there, some

crimped, others elongated, still others nearly invisible but apparent

through indentation. Translate these and what have you but a history

of glorious failures and unfelt victories in marks, on white,

somehow of note, if only to oneself. Success is a stranger’s smile,

an omelet cooked to order and eaten with gusto. It pulses

in the doing, in the unsteady drip from the faucet with a cracked

washer, and the ink staining the page symbol by line. I know only

what I know, which ain’t much, but I keep trying to learn, to

cobble together these odd symbols into assemblages greater than

myself. As if anyone would notice. Say hello to the marred, the

cracked and disheveled of Jeju, and I’ll return the favor from

my hideaway in the Texas hills. As always, believe. Bob.


 

Copyright 2018 Robert Okaji

One comment on “Robert Okaji: Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket

  1. Jazz Jaeschke
    July 24, 2018

    Scarecrow’s pocket is plumb full of wisdom!

    Liked by 3 people

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This entry was posted on July 24, 2018 by in Poetry and tagged , .
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