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“Beginning a poem with a definition is a mistake

akin to confusing map and territory” -- The Topography of Poetics




plural noun: cambers

  1. the slightly convex or arched shape of a road or other horizontal surface.

  2. "the deck beams are curved for the camber of the deck"


    • a tilt built into a road at a bend or curve, enabling vehicles to maintain speed.


I’m searching for my ‘Camber’

having misread ‘Chamber’

this need for hidden rooms

catacombs filled with secrets

lessening with age

or rather the illusions

of the anthropocene

trap us in the eternal

moment of brushing

cobwebs away

skin on high



For errant arachnids

every time we’re



led to believe

The next sarcophagus

chest corner pit

will reveal the Grail

or its capital material

equivalence knowing the Quest

has been hijacked for someone else's

gains and means and yet

yearning for any Future

has become as

strong as nostalgia for



Tiring of Seeking

claustrophobic trapped

we re-examine the map



A tilt built

allowing one to maintain

speed a convex or arch

in an otherwise horizontal

not the plane of screens

rather the organic curve of a horizon

the optic bulge of our eyes

or my new lenses

refracting clearly

things as they are

rather than how

others would

have them


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This camber the driver doesn't even notice -- could it be evidence of intelligent design? 😀 At the turn, the speaker refers to his new lenses. Are they specs, contact, or surgically corrected lenses? Or are his lenses more of the metaphorical variety? I love how you included the epigraph and the definition. :wink: Excellent work!


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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I find the introduction is in itself an intended paradox. I am amused how the reflection on the lenses led to a string of eras from the past trying to understand the present. Just as the poem's journey, "the Quest", the reader joins the poet to a pause "Realize:", the pivot in the structure. Very clever and witty.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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