Abstract Mag TV | The Glass As Half by Steven Mayoff
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The Glass As Half by Steven Mayoff

01 Nov 2017, Posted by JL Jacobs in Poetry

Art: Alexandra Bath by André Gonçalves

THE GLASS AS HALF

1
Being alive in the moment and the moment
to come. The drinking glass is a mind
nourished on a facsimile of emptiness. The faucet
sings one clear drip after another. The glass
as half is revealed under sleep. The wet
dream evaporating into a nightmare’s thin air.
The glass rim’s hollow curve, the inevitability
of loss. To halve and have not. We suffer
optimism deep in the marrow like a presentiment.
A slow water torture. Each drop’s hollowing echo
becomes a foreboding: there is nothing to come.
The present is meant to evoke a selfless condition
deep in the belly. And yet all efforts to rediscover
boredom’s lost purity are subverted by impatient
muses roiling up a cloudy remembrance.

2
The dividing line can be sublimated
into a line of inquiry. Why do we revel in pessimism’s
narrow purview? Because we have nothing to lose.
But our chains follow link by link in a clanking
progression: from revel to revelation. The water level
rising as we sink into a warm bath, the chains slinking
behind like shy sea monsters. Coiling into the darkest
shallows of our nature. Desire’s singled out dimension
tapers toward a dissolving horizon. Sea and sky bleed
into each other. Red underbelly ignites cold blue.
The eyes have it but the heart slowly calcifies into carbon,
crumbles into ash. Leaving behind the scattered treasure
of sunken chains rusting at the bottom of a loch.
From these depths, the surface’s glassy quiet
becomes a star-lit window affording an irredeemable clarity.

3
In the beginning was the note. A single note
played repeatedly in sync with breath. Both breath
and note sculpting air. Sound made solid.
Made spherical inside hard edges. The straight
line searches for itself in vain. Intones itself
as an incomplete chord. The half
as glass. A steady chipping away, a kind of chirping.
Becalms the invisible line between hand and eye
until the two halves shatter. Shards of a colourless mosaic
scattered path-wise. Their gleaming jags waiting to bite
into the naked soles of our wandering. Stubbed wrinkling toes.
Aching cracked heels. Yet suffering is only
the half of it. The slow but steady bend so as to make
breaking impossible. The point being to become
one’s own bridge. And crossing over to a kind of thirst
that seems all too familiar but can’t be placed.
The moment to come is measured by the tilt
of a glass. A reflex halfway down the throat. Swallowing
itself whole.


About the Author:

Steven Mayoff’s fiction and poetry have appeared in literary journals across Canada, the US and abroad. His two books of fiction are Fatted Calf Blues (Turnstone Press, 2009) and the novel Our Lady Of Steerage (Bunim & Bannigan, 2015). Upcoming: a poetry collection Swinging Between Water And Stone in 2019.

Art: Alexandra Bath by André Gonçalves, @andre_goncalves_arts

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