Literature Is An Invention

Adagia

Sara Nicholson

Literature is an invention; it was
Written by men to praise war.
Economy is tragic; the economy

Comedy. What the heart feigns
The mind rehearses, circles
A river on the map, as if to say

Voilà! Now the non-linear
Has maneuvered the rational
Into position, and may rest.”

So we rewrite the old sayings—
That art achieves through effort
Ease; or that metaphor has

No prerequisite, like calling light
The data windows encrypt
And actually meaning it, right

Now, for example, to set down
Pen to paper, voice to verse
And claim that art itself is wholly

Suffix to experience, unheard
But not unheard-of. A universe
Gracelessly flashing forth.

*   *   *

Sara Nicholson is the author of What the Lyric Is (2016) and The Living Method (2014), both from the Song Cave, as well as a chapbook of stories, Mortal Tales (2018), from the Catenary Press.

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