The Known World


The Known World
by Dan Raphael

step out of the known world
body of interstices
no one hit
the wall comes right up hello

the way you rise
room in so many breaths
bread in so many hands
half the windows spread their wings

today a blanket tomorrow dinner
if I don’t gather the water
split   smoked     stirred 4 times a day
wandering on the 5th side of the house

as a chair
from a tree
as our legs
into music

1 thought on “The Known World

  1. Remarkable. This poem rests in its space, unknowable, yet knowable for its composed presence–like one’s first encounter with an ee cummings poem, with its seeming non sequiturs and non-parallel constructions, yet a grammar all its own. “No one hit the wall come right up hello” is such a line. But this is what the poem is about: stepping “out of the known world body of interstices.” The world of the poem is a much wider world: “room in so many breaths bread in so many hands;” however, not completely open: “half the windows spread their wings.” I think the next three lines hearken back to the “interstices” of “the known world,” whose “don’t”‘s offer a departure (if I “don’t,” then other choices present themselves) of “wandering on the 5th side of the house”–a new dimension. And then the last four lines draw this out, via creation: mundane, “as a chair from a tree,” and lyrical, “as our legs into music” (from something to sit on to something to dance to), both beautiful.

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