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This poem is taken from PN Review 241, Volume 44 Number 5, May - June 2018.

Three Poems Nicholas Friedman
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, PLEASE FILL OUT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND MAIL. THIS IS A SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT BY DENNIS KOMSA, AGE 12.

from a note dated August 16, 1963, found sealed in a Mason jar off the New Jersey Shore

The first step says to get the message lost –
though not too long – so its recovery
can hold significance. In this motif,
boy puts his note to sea; hope, being brief,
dies out soon after curiosity…
And yet the jar turns up, its glass embossed

with cursive letters somehow still intact
since bobbing off in 1963.
Inside, a roughly folded questionnaire
asks little more than how and when and where
it steered into another’s custody –
in other words, the overwhelming fact

of being. The greeting toys with fate, if not
tautology: ‘TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN…’
...


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