Home > The Crowd > A Mask Called Nothing

A Mask Called Nothing

November 11, 2010

by Amy Pence

So we enter the dog days—summer
its bedraggled undergrowth, feasting

insects, spiders spinning, unspun.
Everything swarming to the grand ticking

surface: verdure & verdant—a plentitude,
identity leaks from our faces, a carnival

of exiles: subversion, ecstasy, anarchy,
apathy, masochism—listless and rogue.

Then finally, “nothing”: its jade eyelids
around sockets, skin textured—

wind in the bestial unknowing
genuflects to an embarrassment of days.

Unloosed from the Dark, a lowly coming—
all the names unleash their quiet.


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Amy Pence’s collection The Decadent Lovely will be published on November 23 by Main Street Rag. Recent poems are in New Writing, The Oxford American and Many Mountains Moving. Fiction is online at All Things Girl and Storyglossia. Her exploration on the phenomenology of Emily Dickinson is forthcoming in The Writer’s Chronicle. For more, visit her website.

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  1. November 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    “…a carnival of exiles…Then, finally, ‘nothing’…” I like how you sustain the tone of indiferrence yet deep foreboding. For me, a well-crafted poem I dream I could write. Thanks, Amy!

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