Today's poem is by Robert Hunter Jones

Lecture on Emptiness

My wife no longer wants to hear from me
on this, how the emptiness of take-out coffee
cups or suitcases in even the best series or film
suggests a more pervasive hollowness. Method
actors pretending to sip hot liquids from obviously

empty cups unmasks a world bereft of surface
tension. It violates the necessary suspension
of disbelief upon which all such versions
of vicarious truth depend. Vacations taken with
empty bags in tow depress me in the same way

those drinks decorated with paper umbrellas may
mock the irksome myth of privilege and plenty
in actual life, though this, it seems, is just a garden
variety failure of unintended irony—a bit like
a voice-over track applied to clarify the obvious.

But let's return to the physics of emptiness, the necessity
of weight and its relationship to gravity. Jesse Pinkman
offers a welcome counterclaim, the weight of his duffie
bag bulked with bundled hundreds pulling him down
as he muscles it past empty-eyed meth heads gaping

at the flat screen his ill-gotten largesse has bought him.
This, it seems, is how allegory should actually
work, the suggestion of weight in service of the emptiness
that radiates from its own gravitational center, pulling
all the necessary consequences into orbit around it. Here

mass is exaggerated to underscore its own antithesis—
the ineluctable relationship between action and its
downstream implications—a resonant, weighty emptiness
burdened with made choices. Here at last is hollowness
we can celebrate, its heat real and dangerous to the touch.

Copyright © 2017 Robert Hunter Jones All rights reserved
from Winter Garden
Silverfish Review Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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