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  • A Little Less, and: Perfection
  • R. S. Stewart

A Little Less

A little less returned for him each spring

—Wallace Stevens

It was the picture of a lean and alienmoon that coaxed him in unknown direction.No other image was the one he yearned to capture

once a door swung shut to letanother more solid one refuse to open.If the echo of Brahms was in the air

his confusion separating darkness and lightmixed with the melody of inscrutable pianoand violin, mellifluous in their call

to a calming world. Location failedto soothe him as music and speech invariablyhad, precise but elemental,

a stroke of beauty instead of luck.“More of this later” is what he rememberedsaying or hearing, subdued, in a whisper

as a glance out a window might announce springdelayed to advantage, the tulips upand aroused as daffodils vying for soil

and sun. Yes, less, he thought, rememberingthe fullness of the hour, watching nightby night the simple and singular majestic moon. [End Page 102]


The imperfect is our paradise

—Wallace Stevens

Perfection, too, is a shapeand therefore repetitiouswithin a finite matrixoffering approachable proofof whatever part of spaceit is choosing to resemble.

If perfection refuses positionin a paradisiacal region,it fumbles naturallyat the urgency of fingerswithin capricious spheres, its peakspleased with its conspicuous flawthe moment it disappears. [End Page 103]

R. S. Stewart
Salem, Oregon


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pp. 102-103
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