about the author

Barry Silesky: Adjunct Associate Professor, Liberal Arts (1984). BA, 1971, Northwestern University; MA, 1976, University of Illinois at Chicago. Biographies: John Gardner, Literary Outlaw; Ferlinghetti: The Artist in His Time. Books: This Disease (poems); Greatest Hits (poems); The New Tenants (poems); One Thing That Can Save Us (prose poems). Contributing Author: The Best of the Prose Poem; Smokestacks and Skyscrapers; American Diaspora; Illinois Voices. Senior Editor: Another Chicago Magazine. Awards: Fund for Poetry 2000, 2001; Illinois Arts Council Individual Artists Grants.

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Barry Silesky

Once in a while there’s a different thought, and I suppose this is one. Still, fingers stiff, body tired, hardly movable, there’s nothing to look forward to. Art, entertainment, a call maybe, but that’s hard to imagine. There was a line about prayer, a movie to watch, a story to tell, and they’ve all broken, gone to memory. I need to keep going, regardless; follow my own advice: remember what I smelled, tasted, heard, touched, saw. It doesn’t exist but that doesn’t make the idea any less. Orange, for instance. A symphony the cells crave. What it is really doesn’t exist, for me anyway, which is universal. We want to stop and go back, get another chance, everything around appearing unchanged. She was beautiful then, and I was strong enough to know it. Always the only question is what to do now, which keys to press and what was the point anyway? I hate this endless traffic report, the news that seems infinitely the same. It may not be, though, so the job is to find out. Maybe I should fast; spend the night in prayer. Maybe I shouldn’t say anything, and the truth is right here.

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