The Thing Is (Written April 29)

The Thing Is


It violates all the understood rules,

And yet somehow it works.

To begin a sentence with “nice”


Is bad enough but to use

The same such word twice

In the same line is to risk


Calling down the wrath of the gods

Of good writing. But he gets

Away with it. How? The same


Thing happens, a little later,

In a piece I won’t even name,

With the ultimate filler, “sort of.”


Again, not once but twice, one

After the other. I know a certain

Short story writer of great


Renown, who did the same

Thing, sort of. The thing is,

The writing is so alive,


The story so urgent and so

Lovingly drawn that perfection

Of language is the last thing


We want. What we want is to hear

The real voice of the real writer,

Not the fake voice of the fake writer.

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