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The Poem Called Syntax by Fred Wah



We live on the edge of a lake called Echo.

I love this notion that noise makes itself,

so the lake holds all noise in its depths

and when the dog barks it gets it from the lake.



About nine thousand feet above these lakes (all lakes)

there is a geometry of sound, something like Plato’s cave of noise.

It is from that construct the dog’s bark takes shape,

a resounding of an earlier bark conditioned by the alpine.



History and physics. Acoustic paradigms in a bog of algae.

When I tell all my cousins and friends about this

they’ll come to live on the shores of this lake and clean it up.

From the balconies of their summer homes they’ll ask a lot of questions.