Small, Smaller, Smallest

On a cold winter day, I squish through the streets 
of Greenwich Village 
until I stand before 75 1/2 Bedford Street,
the "Narrowest House" 
in New York City.

Where lived the widest mind –
her words expanding like swan wings in flight 
over the quarrel of water tanks
and tarpaper rooftops
endlessly arguing the city. 

Clearly what ails me –
I take up too much space.
I must move to smaller and smaller rooms, crawl
into an overpriced, cubbyhole of my mind and write
crabbed on a stool.

Or maybe jack into one of those 
video game follies 
where the walls slowly press in 
and squeeze –
a giant lemon press for poems. Or garlic.

That’s it! Smash myself 
paper thin, 
pressed like a stricken butterfly
between the pages of a dictionary. 
Yes, that is how it’s done.

To grow bigger, get smaller, 
said Alice.
Squeeze and squint and scrutinize 
the margins, annotations, punctuation,
the endless inky spaces 
within words.

Smaller. Swooning past atoms,
forgetting even the names
of electrons and protons.

Smaller still. 
Silly-string theory 
squirting from mathematical cans.

Smaller. Past the hearse whisperer. The ferryman.
The exquisite, infinite, idiocy of nothingness.

The Quantumverse.

For Shay’s Word Garden

10 thoughts on “Small, Smaller, Smallest

  1. This is a fast moving post, takes us along quickly the degrees of smallness. I googled “Quantumverse” thinking it would be not there because it was a made up word. Surprise, surprise. The first in line was a Chinese company named “Quantumverse”. Some were in the poetry sphere but really they were all over the place, usually extremely large or extremely small of whatever.
    So, a very very nice, unique descriptive story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A giant lemon press for poems!!!!!! The best, line. ever.

    I’m worried you will try seppuku now. I was hoping some of the haibun people would try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Something happened to me as I slowly read this delicious poem .. I could feel myself growing smaller and smaller .. until I,too, was nothingness. One of my favorite Q-bits.


  4. You’ve done a great job with the narrative here, qbit, making all these self-instructional thoughts sound logical, scientific, almost inevitable, when they are really the most delightful, and/or frightening bits of whimsy and imagination. I love silly-string theory, and the hearse whisperer (!) but I think my favorite lines are these: “…the quarrel of water tanks/and tarpaper rooftops/endlessly arguing the city..” A seriously good poem, and you’ve taken the list words and made them blend into the mix without a murmur.

    Liked by 1 person

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