Mark Truscott


Each time
a layer of air
peels away
to reveal another
behind it nearly
the same, a
pattern of light
and shadowed
masses silently
counts itself
right in front of me.
Its surface like
a surface of water,
to ripples,
real, now
expressing its
potential for stillness.
My eye is
another liquid.
Its body glinting
in the light. My body
distributed among
the chair’s
inert and indifferent
curves. I am
inhabiting vision.
I am placing
word after word
before coating their
succession in
colours of interior
sound. Compelled
to discover
sense among these
layers, I know
I will forever fail
to complete their circuit.
I will fail
to read the poem.
But the air
is there to
breathe now.
And breath’s
final gesture is


What to say of
the subtle variations
of green? Their sense
serial, their impression
one. For I too
am varied colour.

What can it mean
that what is
has arisen already?
And then it will
change. A breeze
in the interval noted, now

In our walk, the
drift. In the belief
I can plot steps
through the thicket.
In the medium that
slowly deepens as
I look the other way.

Of the Poem

And so we carve out this margin
and set our tokens down. Mine will wear
a hat (look). Strangely it will also use
these eyes. The air is already still
among the trees, which is to say it
moves imperceptibly and offers ingress
despite its vibrations. I know it there,
and yet I also keep it in mind.
We are people in the world and we are

The edge is crisp because an edge is.
This is to say it counters our welling
and offers us a small concavity apart
from which to look. We push our
thoughts where we can see them.
We believe in a curve that flattens
the sun, that divides the scene
into colours we can describe to one another.
It too is that deceiving.


The chaos of rain
is the desperation
of a crowd hemmed in.
We can watch it
through the window.
We can see it
on the front page.
A drop on the eye
will give rise to a panic
that subsides the
instant we remember
time and space
have been hollowed out
for our shelter. An
image settled will do
this. For now
though the moment
is still music and
the world is meaningfully
peopled. And
the slow-beat ringing
continues for a time.

Mark Truscott is the author of three poetry books: Said Like Reeds or Things (Coach House, 2004), Nature (Book*hug, 2010), and Branches (Book*hug, 2018). Recent poems appear in The Walrus, Arc Poetry Magazine, and on the Cultural Society and Dusie “Tuesday poem” websites.
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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.