What could it say that wouldn’t spasm us back to ourselves to be bait or a dead prayer?
–C. K. Williams

The rabbits are scattered,
left with nothing left
but their astonishment.
Winter has placed its silvery hands
on something growing in the ground,
a root and leaf, fresh in a nest, and it looks,
well, rather gracious in there, inviting,
a hutch for winter’s groundlings.

And yet, a rabbit trap is just
another old tin bucket with
a spring to seal it tight. It does not
take life, it snares it, leaves it whole
and whimpering. The cold will do the rest.
You smile, I know. As if to say,
Go ahead, lift it. Take a peek.
For there can be nothing underneath.

By God’s grace, starvation.
All is—and all must be—persuasion.

Published by extrasimile

define: extra: excess, more than is needed, required or desired; something additional of the same kind. define: simile: a simile is a type of figurative language, language that does not mean exactly what it says, that makes a comparison between two otherwise unalike objects or ideas by connecting them with the words “like” or “as.” The reader can see a similar connection with the verbs resemble, compare and liken. Similes allow an author to emphasize a certain characteristic of an object by comparing that object to an unrelated object that is an example of that characteristic. define: extra: an minor actor in a crowd scene

11 thoughts on “Snared

  1. I knew you wouldn’t take offence. Nihilism for me refers not just to “nothing is true” but that “nothing is real” — and not in the equivocal sense of nothing IS real, because THAT is not nihilism. Nothing IS real in the traditions I’m interested in, Christian and Taoist. There is an ongoing debate about this of course, but recently the non-nihilist Taoists seem to have the upper hand, and in Christian metaphysics there’s a return of the “creatio ex nihilo” in the sense of the ontological difference. My free time these days is spent on fleshing out the idea of a “poetics” of the between, the “between” being the metaphysics of the middle. I’m encouraged by your long-standing blog, as well as bebrowed’s, and hope to organize my various blogs, including the nihilism blog, into one.

  2. Actually the issue of nihilism is interesting here. At its extreme, nihilism—as in ‘nothing is true’—initiates an interesting dynamics. There is that nasty recursion—if it’s true, then it disproves itself and so on. I suppose ‘the nihilism of just looking’, Tom, is fashioned to get around that kind of statement. You simply don’t say it. Still, it must lurk in the shadows. An interesting way to avoid this to attribute the claim to someone else. One might say ‘He thinks that nothing is true.’—and let the chips fall as they may. Though, one interpretation—‘He’s so stupid, he thinks that nothing is true.’—reads more like an insult than an attempt at genuine philosophy. I take no offence, as it could also be attributed to the poem and the atmosphere it creates. The poem, of course does not actually mention nihilism. ‘Chilling’ might be a better way of putting it, though, John, in a world where nothing is true, all must be persuasion. But perhaps the poem is more convincing by itself.

  3. My word but that’s chilling, Jim!
    The last line is very interesting. I could not have seen that coming and the sudden leap leaves one pondering the whole piece again.

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