The Space Beyond the Far Word of the Book

It was the gap between words, between books. It was a time of waiting and a time of holding one’s breath. There comes a point when such acquiescence becomes almost fully stretched: waiting becomes taut. It was this: I was busy in other unnecessary pursuits: pursuits not becoming of the fabric in which words will lay themselves. Perhaps it’s this to cause a draught, and words that might settle are floated away (by my own hand at its other tasks). Tenses start to overlap.

I sat because the time for sitting had just touched me. Here, other unnecessary pursuits can wait, and time in sitting is taut. It has been some fair while now, days since you — dear words — have been here. I have finished writing your sibling down: now, where will you rest with me? I sat stretched, though I sat upright.

Out by night, I find, observing, tells words that I am ready for them. Come find me, I suggest. I take my notebook just in case. Sometimes I’m accosted by wordless people who talk and talk at me. They have words unbecoming of the words I wish to settle on me. They are draughts to waft those words in dust and half-light. I don’t open my notebook here: words won’t land.

One night, that night when the fire blazed and I was left largely to my own devices, I knew the stretch of days was nearly at its end. Words landed of their own accord, just notes but words, on my pages. I closed the covers and, for the hours still to come, I left them wriggling.

It is the evening after the gap between words. With the last book finished, the morning ached. Here she is, this first new piece, at last. I call it ‘she’, though this is just a passing reference. It is no longer the gap between words, between the end of one book and the start of the next: now is the gathering of possibilities. It is the moment after the jump, after the fall, after the start. Here we are, and now the gap is no longer a gap: it is a space in which particles start to swim and swill.

It is the space beyond the farthest word of one book . . .

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