Editor’s Note: Brevity often sharpens the message, as in this concentrated poetic form.
Author’s Note: “Wend is a sijo, a traditional Korean syllabic verse form that emerged in the Goryeo period (918 – 1392) and is still popular today. Themes range from the bucolic to the metaphysical. The standard pattern is three lines (each broken into two half lines) that average 14–16 syllables, for a total of 42–48: theme (3, 4, 4, 4); elaboration (3, 4, 4, 4); counter-theme (3, 5) and completion (4 ,3).”
Wend (After Raymond Carver)
A cobweb hangs from my lamp—
Intricate, tethering air.
I lean close and its thin strand
is disturbed by my breathing.
Before long, before anyone notices,
I’ll be gone from this place.
Joshua McKinney teaches poetry, writing, and literature at California State University, in Sacramento. His most recent book of poetry is Small Sillion (Parlor Press, 2019). His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, New American Writing, Boulevard, Denver Quarterly, and other journals. He is the recipient of The Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize, The Dickinson Prize, The Pavement Saw Chapbook Prize, and Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing.
Delmarva Review features the most compelling new poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction selected from thousands of submissions annually. The authors may be well established (like today’s poet), or they may be new writers seeking discovery from their first significant publication. The review is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit publication supported by individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. See the website for information: DelmarvaReview.org.