Rosemerry “The Price of Nothing” in Rattle’s Poet’s Respond


After I read an article about an Italian sculptor selling an “immaterial sculpture” for $18,300, I wrote this poem about the sale, but even more so, about the value of nothing. It was featured on Rattle in the “Poet’s Respond” series on June 13, 2021.


What could be more valuable
than nothing? The nothing that
frames “The Thinker,” the nothing
that holds every bowl,
every vase, every bust, every thought.
Let others buy the clay, the steel,
the papier-mâché. I will be satisfied
with nothing more than nothing.
Nothing pleases me. Nothing
enchants me. Nothing,
as Heisenberg says,
has a weight. Just think
of the space here beside me
where you are not.
If someone asks me why
I have a five-by-five-foot
empty space taped off in my home
with plaque that says I Am,
it is because I am so in love
with nothing. Imagine it—
nothing, the color of happiness,
nothing, the size of love,
nothing, the shape of god.
You can hear Rosemerry read and talk about this poem on Rattlecast #97.