I invent this written history,
commemorate our sordid run,
and dive into the pool with open mouth
and lungs indifferent. At least I loved.
— from “Nota”
In Stephen Dunn’s essay, “Truth,” he proffers – to paraphrase – that while our personal history is important, all that truly matters is the end result.
The path from birth to here may have changed, fates rearranged – sometimes good, or not – but in the end, we are where we are, and while we can move around the puzzle pieces, eventually they only fit one way, create one image of what took so long to build.
Within Allendorf’s newest chapbook, Fair Day in an Ancient Town (Brain Mill Press), he has taken all the pieces, the histories of hands, waterfalls, sanity hammers, shepherds, and suitors, and built the puzzle only to watch it fall to the floor, and have to put the pieces back in the box. Back on the shelf. Until the pieces “fear three years of death inside…” Until the pieces become a memory of all the time you spent building it in the first place.
Allendorf gives us the sobering end of relationships until “inch by inch, the moon unspools its worth from its white hole [and] I drool over my paint-by-number soul.”