Middle English gramarye, grammar, or book-learning, came to mean occult or magical lore, and through one Scottish dialect form has emerged in our present English as 'glamor.' Spell cast by women.

Grammar girls with words that spell power to cast spells. And provoke matter. So a black panther treads at my side and above my fingers there float petal-like flames. Words with a nimbus, a glory, a sphere of radiance. Beyond the horizon called definition.

But writing is the tool of the negative. (Through which meaning comes to us?) Effortlessly it burns all substance off the blue shapes in the east. To a density less than thinnest cloud, the word "hills." Without body. Though with form. Therefore not like God. A nothing that foams on the inkplate.

The word's power to kill—I'm not thinking of white-gloved White House memos—its violence against what it names, what it can name only by taking away its materiality, destroying its presence. Is death itself speaking.

Or is it? If the word both kills and shows "a certain slant of light on Sunday afternoons" that we'd search in vain anywhere else? If the word "horse" boils the animal down to the concept, and yet, in the way of hunger, hallucinates four legs, a mane, and folds of flesh? Then maybe this death is not a simple matter. And must hold a kind of life the way fog holds light?

Some say it's because the daughters of the gods came down from the heavens and mated with humans that the order of the world was thrown out of joint and opposites became entangled. So that, without the letter that kills, there is no spirit to give life?