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WINTER 2019-2020


Barbara Novack


In the school’s halls and offices
all clocks tell different times,
each creating a cocoon world
cozy in its own reality.
It does not matter
that a turned head, a turned corner
shocks the soul
with a new time zone.

My car fresh from the shop
has new filters and hoses
and purrs happily on the roadway, but
when I press familiar radio buttons
hungry for immersion in
my world of comfort sounds,
all its stations have changed
and I sit, chilled,
in someone else’s world.

Some say
relativity is easy:
nothing means anything
and there is contentment
as long as nothingness
does not affect them personally,
erasing them with the rubbing end
of being.
Some say
relativity is hard:
everything must mean something
after all
or why is there anything?
There is the question,
the nature of anything:
Is it something?
Is it nothing?

The film unspools,
frame by frame
creating each moment’s reality, its
relation to the last:
persistence of vision,
life’s illusion
of consistency.

Barbara Novack is Writer-in-Residence and member of the English Department at Molloy College, where she founded and hosts the Poetry Events reading series. Off campus, she conducts highly regarded creative writing workshops. Recent books include poetry collections Something Like Life, Do Houses Dream?, and A Certain Slant of Light, and the Pulitzer Prize nominated novel J.W. Valentine.





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