Yeah, so I need to wash my windows, so what?
I know I need to wash my windows, so just lay off okay. RS

I was a little busy this afternoon writing about the city council's sad decision to postpone deliberation on the Tax Amazon legislation, and it's getting a little late in the day to write about poetry, but I am surrounded completely and totally by light. All of this makes me want to write about the shortest poem I could possibly think of.

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That poem is called "lighght," by Aram Saroyan, and you can find it in Complete Minimal Poems, which is available at local bookstores.

A few notes:

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• So, that's it, that's the poem. Just the word "lighght" on the page. Over at The Poetry Foundation, Ian Daly wrote a wonderful piece on the origins of this poem and the controversy over Saroyan getting $750 for it from the government, and I encourage you to read it. The 1960s and '70s were wild.

• When I first read—or, I guess, saw—the poem, I was immediately pissed off and then suddenly struck by its brilliance. The extra "gh" adds letters but not sound to the word "light." So the letters add nothing of substance to the word, and yet they make the word a poem, sort of like the way light adds nothing of substance to a room but nonetheless makes the room completely visible. In this way Saroyan has created the shortest possible lyric poem—which, as you all know by now, is a poem where every language choice embodies the subject of the poem itself.

• I also love, as Daly points out, that the poem somehow wouldn't work if you fucked with the other letters. Like, "llight" clearly sucks. Even "Lighght" sucks. "Lighghght" is stupid and looks buzzy. Two "Ts?" No way. No other spelling configuration accurately reflects "light" better than the austere and simple and gorgeous "lighght."

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