This girl, or that girl?
This career, or that career?
This book, or that book?
This shirt, or that shirt?

Do I solve the problem this way, or that way?
Do I design a circuit this way, or that way?

The blank canvas.
Where do I begin?
A light pencil sketch?
Rough out the composition?
Balance, form, symmetry, light and dark?
The first stroke causes misgivings.
I should have started there, rather than here.
It's best to suspend decision.

Mao said that
The march of ten thousand miles
Begins with the first step.
The converse is also true.
The first step
Leads to a march of ten thousand miles.

The horror of the blank canvas.
Too many possibilities.
The infinitude of possible passages,
A Borgesque labyrinth of paths,
Branches begetting branches,
As in quantum mechanics.
The Problem of Infinities.

The pencil hovers over the paper,
Reluctant to start.
Because starting begins the clock.
T = 0.
Cleaving time.
Before zero, and after zero.
Causing a beginning.
The first breath is the dual of the last breath.
The fear of starting the machinery.

Well. Here we go.
Now we've started, we've nowhere to go but forward,
To the inevitable heat death of the universe.
To completion.
Perhaps not completion, but the end.

Beginnings presuppose endings.
Endings aren't guaranteed to be clean.
There is no guarantee of completion.
There is no guarantee of a pretty, well-formed symmetric story.
The artist cannot be guaranteed to finish,
And to stand back and behold his work
And declare it good.

Thus the hover.
Thus the indecision.
The myriad ways this thing could go.
The tension just before the beginning.

Not yes. Not no.
Not this, nor that.
An undifferentiated, unbinaried wholeness of possibilities.
An AND, not an OR.
An uncollapsed wavefunction,
Entangled, all states equiprobable.

The truest poem
Is the one unfin

For friend D.W., muse, friend, inspiration.