The Prose Poem

David Ignatow


I do know that birds continue to live and procreate as long as the weather is amenable and the food there—as if it were a deal between them, the weather and the crops. No questions asked. And the birds are in earnest about it, as I am in earnest about finding a reason for their lives, for what reason I myself do not understand. So I too in my way am ignorant of myself, my purpose, to perform simply the role of questioner.

If I were to say that it is because I want to know, I will again surely be carrying out my function of questioner, as the birds carry out theirs of eating and procreating.

I must call it good because to deny it is not one of my functions, or is it? And here I am asking a question once again, carrying out the function I have been assigned.

Meditation is its name, to meditate on practically nothing and to find something to say about it, this that I have written, its own purpose in being, for the sake of living with questions forever.