there must be space

there must be space
by dan odell
there must be
evidence to shred
but my jailer keeps repeating that
it was the spaces between the lines
that put the torn Kleenex in her hand
and then.
like a horse pissing on a flat rock
a man in parenthesis
can hardly be misplaced
on the gray scale
and even a five hundred mile bus ride
has it’s limits

0 thoughts on “there must be space

  1. I’m picking up on a lot of impressions when i read this poem: distance/proximity; broken/failure/prosecution; ambiguity[‘the gray scale’]; and inevitability.
    The subject-person presumably is thinking out loud in a literal jailcell (unless this poem is more metaphorical rather than relating a particular incident [which i feel it might be]…), this situation of confinement in itself makes one think of space and the need for such. The evidence is stacked against this fellow and it’s all over but the crying.
    ‘Space’ theme is further embellished upon in 2nd part of poem when confessor relates story from actual paperwork in evidence (?) “it was the spaces between the lines that put the torn Kleenex in her hand…” .. “…a man in parenthesis…”.
    But maybe this poem should be read in a broader spectrum of possibility (as with many poems)? By the way, i thought the simile in poem was centerpiece: “like a horse pissing on a flat rock” to aura of work. ..and the finale’ was particularly effective: “and even a five hundred mile bus ride has its limits.”…very much the contrast to a confined cell …but in the end no better?
    I still have to read this some more for the part of me that seeks meaning…unless feeling is the author’s primary and sole intent for highlighting shared human emotion. If it’s not, i think perhaps a little more clue could be given in the title maybe: ‘there must be space; 2nd thoughts of a con-man’. But yeah yeah the fun is in the reading and you shouldn’t have to spell it out eh? In any case, enjoyed the read Mr. Odell.

Leave a Reply