Perhaps we are all critics, infatuated
with the blankness, our excuse to create nothing
while waiting for the blank page to answer us.
To be trapped is to be free of responsibility,
for one cannot help oneself. So where there is
no blank page, we create one; for example,
you can create gaps on this page ("page gap" --
a palindrome); you can white out my ink
as you read, degrade my cleverest reasoning
to footling flippancy, set all my clarifying crinoid
asterisks afloat (feathery schools of comatulids,
unanchored to footnotes), reduce my most
delicate qualifications -- but is this qualification?
No, it is epanorthosis! -- reducing them
to a uniform mush.
The words are there, you've just read them, and yet
I'm sure that if you trouble yourself to look up
in a reasonably complete dictionary the words
(not mere music after all) "footling," "crinoid,"
"comatulid" and "epanorthosis," you will
discover on this page words, perhaps entire
sentences, that weren't there on first reading;
and some unexpected apparitions may greet you
if you study and apply each definition of, for example,
"of" and "to".
You, reader, can become a threat to pandemic
Note: I wrote that more than a year ago and I've forgotten
what "epanorthosis" means. Words use em or
lose em. Anyhow, for those allergic to dictionaries (but you
wouldn't be here with me if you were), "footling" means
"trifling", "silly and unimportant". "Crinoid"
means "lily-like" and also designates small, flower-shaped
marine animals. A "comatulid" is a "free-swimming
animal related to the starfish," and means, literally, "having
hair neatly curled". "Epanorthosis" is not an inflamation
of the north pan. It is, rather, the vehement substitution of one
word (the correct or more exact word) for a preceding word, as,
for example, in stanza 3, above, where I create an epanorthosis
by substituting "epanorthosis" for "qualification".
But do check your dictionary. The derivation of "footling"
is worth your trouble.