Thanks, Andrew, Jesse, Siham, Jim, Mary, John, William, James, Allen.
I guess I worried a little that this was a bit too much of a homage to and through Reverdy whose work it may resemble in its use of what is not there. In fact, I was reading Reverdy at the time, on a porch in New Mexico, while I was half-watching a bird-feeder. The poem came quite suddenly: I simply jotted it down on the back cover-flap of the book I was reading. The title and epigraph came later, along with several subsequent tweaks after I returned home. I wanted to draw it away from the original circumstances of its composition, that house-shaped bird-feeder hovering over the top edge of my book. Many of Reverdy's poems have the feeling of being launched by something which is yet not their subject matter. There is a secret architecture in the moment and movement of such a launch that needs to be untethered from its catalyst in order to open up a space in the middle of the poem for the unfolding of absence as a positive rather than a negative force. My poem tries to contract/expand or enter/exit that absence with the solidity of house/body as its complement. It flutters there. At least that's what I think it does.
Andrew I fiddled with that final with before wind gusts. Originally it had been by, then I tried in for awhile, and finally settled on with. I also was tempted by in because of the parallelism with the fist use of wind early in the poem. In the end with seemed suitably democratic, as if both wings and wind gusts were rearranged together. I feel like with sort of combines the effects of in and by.
As for all ways/always, tempting.
And clever, but maybe too consciously so.
I'm glad the poem is working so well for those who commented. Could this be a new theorem for me?—'Say as little as possible and you will not engender many of the negatives of debate'. I am sure Reverdy has his detractors, but I haven't come across any of them. He seems to occupy a magic almost silent place at the center of one or more poetic eras.