Gautam Verma


room's a somber cave
hand in hand
like barbs on wire
a great train of people
trail each other
in rows across walls
          . .

                    and one must resist the madness of numbers
                              enumerating the dead (innumerable deaths)

in rows they go
hand in hand
bulging & blurring together
as they squeeze past
          . .

                                                                                and surely the world's time is tied
                                                            to the collective time of its creatures

                    counting and accounting moment for moment
                              to an end

a metronomic ticking: trans
mitting: this marching:
a telegraph a tracing:
life lines times time
time's left and time
          . .


                    diaspora: a scattering of words
                              of letters like black birds

what's time but an endless
whirring: whirl
of object and empty
space: arc
of a falling: vase say
as it slips from
the hand
          . .

                    and the pattern's recurring always the same
                              and always moving like cars on a highway

a great train
trailing past
hand in hand

. .
. .

two strands of people
right angles facing
and pivoting about
a common center gone
walking: endless
walking gone about
a common center
cross and re-
cross each other
in search of a letter
to resolve the alphabet
. .

                                                                                and time of the terror – on & on – terribly long
                                                                      and the individual time lost dense enough to collapse a corner
                                                                                                    of the universe

                    1 - infinity: and the counting up's
                              a counting down

each day shorter
shorter the dark
days of winter
and our impatience
mad scribbled
over everything

. .


                                                  scatter              :           page

                                                  madness           :           letters

                                                  darkness           :           days



"Life Time Left" follows the work of Michal Rovner (Wall Text, More, Time Left) and Roman Opalka (1 - infinity) as exhibited at the 50th Biennale di Venezia.