To Die as a Reader Is to Abandon Many Worlds

Claire Bateman

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“. . . after all, you’ll have three works of fiction going, a collection of essays, a folio of poems, a fat graphic novel, a theological tome . . .Claire Bateman

Speculative Friction

By Claire Bateman

Will narratives flutter like numberless pages in flight?

Will narratives flutter like numberless pages in flight?

Claire BatemanGREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—11/3/2014—

To Die as a Reader Is to Abandon Many Worlds 

. . . because, after all, you’ll have three works of fiction going,

a collection of essays, a folio of poems,

a fat graphic novel, a theological tome,

not to mention the crossword, a galaxy of its own,

and all your old notebooks; you often peruse them as well.

Let them wander, poor strays. Like the renegade slurped by the whale,

you’ll await Judgment Day in a dim kind of liminal station

with the rest of the currently dead—strangers and near-relations.

Will you pine for your books in that place without morning or night,

or will narratives flutter like numberless pages in flight?

No one knows how it goes once you’ve burned out your reading light.

To order copies of Claire Bateman’s books Scape or Coronolgy from Amazon, click on the book covers below.

Bateman Scape

Bateman Coronology

Claire Bateman

About Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman’s books include Scape (New Issues Poetry & Prose); Locals (Serving House Books), The Bicycle Slow Race (Wesleyan University Press), Friction (Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize), At The Funeral Of The Ether (Ninety-Six Press, Furman University), Clumsy (New Issues Poetry & Prose), Leap (New Issues), and Coronolgy (Etruscan Press). She has been awarded Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Surdna Foundation, as well as two Pushcart Prizes and the New Millennium Writings 40th Anniversary Poetry Prize. She has taught at Clemson University, the Greenville Fine Arts Center, and various workshops and conferences such as Bread Loaf and Mount Holyoke. She lives in Greenville, SC. (Please see Bateman's amazon.com Author's Page for links to all her publications.)
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2 Responses to To Die as a Reader Is to Abandon Many Worlds

  1. Anita Sullivan says:

    Claire, this is so helpful to me right now, in a period of grieving for my husband, and of course (by extension) myself-in-advance. We love our own minds, each of which is an entire country with an infinity of mysterious paths that intersect and resonate with one another. I just found out today that penguins sing. If I had died, I wouldn’t know that. Thank you for acknowledging such richness!

  2. claire says:

    Thank you, Anita. I’m glad the poem spoke to you in such a difficult time.

    And now because of you I know that penguins sing!

    Peace.

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