David Starkey 


That first autumn in Finland I finally felt 
what I'd been teaching for so long: the gap 
between signified and signifier, 
but also the loveliness of language, 
the necessity of our inventions. 
It was in the grocery store, among the shrink- 
wrapped parsakaali and kukkakaali
cruising down the rows of aamiaismurot 
and leivoskeksejä, standing before 
the long red slices of lohi on ice. 
What's important, I thought, is not just 
the naming, but also what accretes around 
the name, the way flesh covers and swells 
over the pit of the sweet, purple luumu. 

Copyright 2000, David Starkey 

David Starkey is currently Fulbright Professor of English at the University of Oulu in Finland. His poems have appeared in numerous print journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, The American Scholar, Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Cimarron Review. In addition, he has published several collections of poems with small presses: Koan Americana, A Year with Gayle, and Others, Adventures of The Minor Poet (I*D Books, 1994), and most recently, Open Mike Night at the Cabaret Voltaire

Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2 

Previous  Contents Next