The below may not be a poem, but it is also not NOT a poem. It is typical of the work in Almost Invisible, a slim but significant book of playful creations from the pen of Mark Strand, whose whole career, in a way, has been an attempt to understand (or perhaps to refute!) “The Triumph of the Infinite.”
The Triumph of the Infinite
I got up in the night and went to the end of the hall. Over the
door in large letters it said, “This is the next life. Please come
in.” I opened the door. Across the room a bearded man in a
pale-green suit turned to me and said, “Better get ready, we’re
taking the long way.” “Now I’ll wake up,” I thought, but I was
wrong. We began our journey over golden tundra and patches
of ice. Then there was nothing for miles around, and all I could
hear was my heart pumping and pumping so hard I thought I
would die all over again.
Excerpt from ALMOST INVISIBLE © 2012 by Mark Strand. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.