March 29, 2013

Scott Withiam

WATCHING DEER IN A SNOWSTORM A FEW DAYS AFTER ORAL SURGERY, RECALLING WHAT THE DENTAL ASSISTANT SAID

“Why this is the easiest part, Dear, going under.”
Envying the deer’s grace, the ease

with which they recede. Never go so far
as to inquire about the afterlife. “Oh, in one percent

of one percent of all the cases, Dear,
patients go under and just keep on going and …”

What really go on forever are struggles
on earth with speech. Or recovering from them. Yet briefly,

heaven is any deer’s here in the dispensed …
“Just let go … sparkling white … That’s it

flakes floating … That’s right, Dear …”
disappearing into snow, although not really.

Still there breathing.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

___________

Scott Withiam: “How to say it? More and more I’m drawn to dialogues, to what people say more than what they do? In ‘Watching Deer in a Snowstorm …,’ it’s not what people do; it’s what their dialogues do. Two seemingly separate dialogues run together to make a third, somehow more convincing voice. I like how the intention behind language can be overridden by the unintentional (real or forced) nature of language.”