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Ken Sparling on Wallace Stevens




It’s like waking up early in the morning.


It’s like being otherwise.


It’s like no one else is awake.


It’s like being alone in a house.


It’s like being a small lamp.


It’s like living on a bedside table.


It’s like burning.


It’s like black insects crawling on walls.


It’s like pillows on a bed that it turns out is nothing but pillows.


It’s like jazz late at night.


It’s like the mind adrift.


It’s like seeing.


It’s like being blind.


It’s like wondering.


It’s like wonder.


It’s like you can’t go back.


It’s like nothing.


It’s like nothing else.


It’s like being hypnotized.


It’s like water.


It’s like everything is over.


It’s like rocks.


It’s like opening a book.


It’s like having your body covered in words.


It’s like being overwhelmed.


It’s like being careful.


It’s like a single word.


It’s like transcending transcendence.


It’s like clowns.


It’s like surrounding yourself in cheap brownish clothing.


It’s like space.


It’s like only white space is left.


It’s like the words ran out.


It’s like Sunday night.



Ken Sparling’s latest book, Book, was published by Pedlar Press in April. Hush Up and Listen Stinky Poo Butt, published by Artistically Declined Press in January, is available at stinkypoobutt.com.

2 thoughts on “Ken Sparling on Wallace Stevens

  1. Dear Mr. Sparling,

    I’m afraid I have to respectfully disagree. Reading Wallace Stevens is like none of these things, most especially “like living on a bedside table.”

    I can understand how you made that mistake, however. Rather, reading Wallace Stevens is like watching two ice-encrusted planets degrade in their orbits, and slowly collide, two microscopic ice-encrusted planets that can be seen only with the aid of a magical magnifying glass that I stole from my uncle’s bedside table. (For a further refinement of this reading, please see my essay “Wallace Stevens’s Nighstand,” in the The Cambridge Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2008, pp. 36–42.)

    Kindest regards,
    Adam D Jameson

  2. His work is Ariel’s planet on the table. Why not turn to him to hear what it’s like.

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