Tell Me

Leonardo do Vinci dwelled on the phrase “Tell me” in his notebook, writing it numerous times with different nibs…

 

Somewhere between a question
and a command,
his hand wrote the words over
and over like a chant,
an incantation that would bring him closer
to knowing
not an answer exactly, not any kind
of words that could be spoken
(though it seemed that’s what he was
after) but something more:
Movement. Flight. The back and forth
of cross-hatch that would reveal
how a smile or sorrow is not defined,
but is a trick of shadow. The shading
that blurs dark and light,
the chiaroscuro of one life bleeding
into another and what comes between
is mystery, always unknowable.
“Tell me”
he wrote, the repetition like a plea,
the way the waves of the sea seek the sky,
wanting to reflect
what is always out of reach.

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Mark Evan Chimsky is an editorial consultant (markchimskyeditorial.com) who headed major publishing imprints and was the editor of a number of bestsellers, including Johnny Cash’s autobiography "Cash." He is a contributor to Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Thrive Global. An award-winning poet, Mark has published poetry and essays in Bullets into Bells, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), Wild Violet, The Oakland Review, Three Rivers Poetry Journal and Mississippi Review. He is currently developing the musicals The Pledge and Swagger with composer Zev Burrows.

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