Doug Bolling


. . . the words were all ours and it was enough that we held them in our hands to play with them; whatever you can play with is yours, and this was the beginning of knowing

—Gertrude Stein, American Language and Literature

A vase then            in sunlight
A refraction            of            a passing

of the manner of a predication

of a stoppage clock worn

of a shadow bending

voices suddenly along the          spaces

         A sunlit just there        and the myriad

of beasts gathered

just as words carried from a valley a stream a mountain

just there to be        cherished, fondled

our toys with      which      to build

a temple        or
perhaps a        poem,

two-storied angular a whisper through a prism

the spaces shaped about a        silence,

a cry among        the mountains
the heapings then of
an unused noun, a basket of        verbs

no commas allowed

nothing bought or sold

our hands wiped clean       of all the refuse

our hands a shape a shaping

a plane of       light

a vase

a        wording

a flattened as of

a book a book



a stance of space, a time occupied
a shadow there behind
as though a tomb

an angular of stone &        carvings

a hint of paleo of distant hands

a making of a need
a mind

& the        object

a definition become        a real

as though to whip a meaning        from an

ocean’s broil

    a clown & the        object

a mask & a stone

      the silences hidden within        the OBJECT

a poem of unknowns

a Magritte refusing        all        margins

of a familiar

the ashes of it

drifting westward

a clouding a departure.

Doug Bolling’s poetry has appeared in Indefinite Space, BlazeVOX, Slipstream, Eratio, Redactions, and/or, Sediments, Basalt and Heron Tree among others. He has received several Pushcart nominations and a Best of the Net nomination and lives in the greater Chicago area while working on a collection of his poems. He has taught at several colleges and universities in the midwest.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , by Posit Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.