Max Winter

A Catalogue
January 24, 2019 Winter Max

A Catalogue


You wrote me a letter in a very fast hand

The letter was truth or at least looked like it

I wrote you a letter in return that also looked like truth

Though I cannot say at this point how much truth there was in it

Your truth was very sad a lot of the time and I am not sure if you know how sad it was

We sent truths back and forth to each other for an entire season

Sometimes your truth flavored my dinner, as I was coming fresh from having read it

My parents appreciated the truth as I usually slept during meals

Perhaps because there was not enough truth in them

There was not enough truth in anything those days

I could not have identified truth in a leaf pile though I understood it

We all understand truth we know it when we see it

I understood the truth of your letters and at times to my mind it transmuted to love

But one thing we learn is that love and truth are separate

You might tell the truth without telling love

You might feel love while leaving the truth under a coat in the foyer

I was very deluded about the truth and about love

I was very young, at the age when truth is a garment and love is a garment

You pick them both up and put them in a bag

You take them off when you’re by yourself

If you want you can write a message on them

I tried to apply truth to the common world

I found that the truth did not stick like ridicule

I found that the climate conditions were hostile to truth

though not to love, which we were told was increasingly seen with truth

Why just the other day, under a staircase, the two of them

They had a smell, truth and love, that they handed back and forth

The truth of your letters and the love of your letters were nowhere here

I had not thought there were different kinds of each

When my thoughts of love and truth changed so did the cloud formations

and so did the way in which I addressed daylight

Previously with a squint and now with a frown

I was trying on someone else’s frown

and then I was trying on my own

I cannot say if anyone noticed

I cannot say if anyone saw the truth or felt love for me in the midst of my changes

I would not have noticed if they had felt love or expressed truth

I was experimenting with the sounds of various words, such as truth and love

And then I would come home and put it into a letter

Max Winter is the author of The Pictures (Tarpaulin Sky Press) and Walking Among Them (Subpress). His reviews have appeared in The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and other publications. He co-edits the press Solid Objects and is one of the poetry editors of Fence. His illustrations have appeared in The Rumpus, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere.