A Poem About Everything by Rufo Quintavalle

Everything has to start
somewhere but a poem
about everything should
not start anywhere per se
in media res is better and
best of all is no place at
all a poem about every
thing has no truck with
hierarchy or diachronic
progression and makes
nonsense of the notion
of non sequitur after all
as soon as two things
follow each other they
sequence and segue and
apophenia is more than
just a pretty word poems
about everything do not
exist in the plural there
is only one poem about
everything in the same
way there is only one
everything however as
pages are right-angled
and monitors like cars
imitating carriages are
likewise rectilinear any
poem including a poem
about everything has to
start someplace or at
the very least begin up
there where it began at
the top of the page the
top of the morning in
America is summer in
Siam and if it wanted
to this could be about
classifications or an ode
to the empire of the sun
or where the sun never
sets but this is not that
kind of poem it is more
oblique in the way it has
of playing politics if it
plays at all often enough
skipping straight to the
sport pages and working
the paper back to front
like a rebirth or a near
death tunnel of light
comes in a multitude of
gradations probably an
infinitude if you want
to be nit-picky about it
but for our purposes
four will do off and on
of course and the two
between when a brick
wall out your window
turns to brief heaven
are you getting it now
how a poem about a
wall in sunlight is also
a poem about every
thing that went into
that wall the trilobites
the epochs the epoxy
but also about the sun
about which we think
we know a lot because
it is always knocking
around but in fact we
barely understand and
also about the looker
and about their his her
upstairs neighbours who
for all we know are also
looking at the wall we’ll
never know and so you
see a poem about all
that sun, wall-lookers
is really a poem about
each and every kind
of everything if you
can only stop or zoom
out long or far enough
a poem about breakfast
is a poem about every
thing in as much as it
contains both satiety
and want and wiping
down your inner thigh
or packing a suitcase
or making the bed
or a scene is also about
everything while poems
about fifty-seven things
are not and poems
about one thing are
not even poems even
too much stasis but
poems about two or
more things are as long
as you are mindful to
include the spaces and
give each of the two
or three things (and
each of the spaces
between them) room

2 thoughts on “A Poem About Everything by Rufo Quintavalle

    1. Thank you so much Stinson. I’m delighted you liked it. Now I’ll have to think about a sequel…

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