Read, Read Again by Jody Baltessen

Poem title: Read. Read, Again poet name: Jody Baltessen Poem begins: In the end the archive should be an open book, an opening to the future, the depository of a promise, it is to burn with a passion for the impossible. It is to be marked by a promise of something to come. 					– J. D. Caputo  start from scratch 				 scratch on clay	  papyrus, parchment, linen paper pressed from rag and lime  circumscribe  each piece of land			 			 count each measure of grain   praise   each god intemperate or calm  scratch words on	  with pigment, stroke and stain		  oak gall, gum arabic, vitriol	  crush steep strain    If not for the archive.    vellum bound minute books thick with ink 			 stitched bindings dry bursting, pages loose  							 brittle dockets wrapped round their contents tight				  acidic flat files	     all of it, the whole						fragments, remnants, gaps				 the volumes and the files				   the ragged tear 							   				the fraught truncation	 							    				  the grief  							   				of lost articulations  words on words					   			disturb  constructing							each summative line    read against form  words break  the habit of sentences  pages extricate from bindings lose their pagination, slide  out of the archive  re-consign  as seasoned wood laid with tinder  end of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Jody Baltessen  Jody Baltessen is a Winnipeg poet, writer and long-time archivist. Her work has appeared in Prairie Fire and The New Quarterly, and has been shortlisted for the Gwendolyn MacEwen/Exile Poetry Prize. Her book reviews can be found online at:  www.prairiefire.ca/?s=Baltessen