Too Much and Therefore Nothing

Jenny Xie
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The plot’s restless.

Newness grown

stiff from disuse.

To believe to have lived

through the end

of something

and still to remain

in that tight ruse

of the habitual.

Slice a day open:

the padded announcing,

coils of debts and balances

and that dull spray

of the first person singular.

My god, the thick paste

of the past

collapsing fresh

from the tube!

You envy children’s eyes,

how they chew

on parts of the world

that lack firmness.

And what was it

the lama said last week

over Zoom?

The more he practices,

year after year

after year,

the more ordinary

he grows.

You understood

this was welcome.

Meager ambitions

require discipline—

pouring the slosh

of desire

over and over

until it thins.

It’s like this:

time is this

and that.

And the ordinary

is hardest

to dream, yes.

Much easier to pull

at the tufts

of a thousand illusions

falling through one hour

into the next.

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