The poet occupies the between, the metaxu (Plato’s word, but the idea is common—between the outside and the inside, and between lower things and higher. Here I use a famous Chinese poet as symbol and my own living situation as contingency. (This concept of the between draws on Augustine’s elegant formula for his metaphysical journey.)

Summer evening.

Smoke from the neighbor’s bar-b-

que— cedar chips, sal-

mon. I read Po Chu-i

but leave the window open.

If I write something,

my voice will blow with

the smoke, blend with small voices

from high in the trees.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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