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The annoying persistence of origami once it is introduced to polite society

By Norma Kassirer

A rage, a dark snow of commas fell over the page,

so tightly spaced the page was black,

a sort of complacent, glowing hell,

except in areas where a rogue comma

has stationed itself and left a space for hope.

The story, therefore,

was gradually enabled to move in tiny arenas

to a martial music,

which increased as it summoned

adherents to its cause.

Unfortunately, a period of periods began …

(Human cells, the writer mused,

in the time provided,

are folded like origami.)

What does it mean, if anything?

Well, it must mean something –

algebraic, perhaps, or telegraphic or geometric –

precision, precision,

and the limits of my vision

are performing a slow dance

on my left wrist.

The University at Buffalo Poetry Collection will host a memorial reading of selected works by the late Buffalo poet, fiction writer and children’s author Norma Kassirer at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in 420 Capen Hall on UB’s North Campus, Amherst. This selection is from her “Three Poems” series monograph published in March by the Poetry Collection. Kassirer, whose books include “Magic Elizabeth” (1965), “The Doll Snatchers” (1969), “The Hidden Wife and Other Stories” (1991) and “Katzenjammered” (2011), died Feb. 17. She was 89.