affordable

outside the reason
        of writing
is an escape
into poetry,
the continuum
of words joined
        without grammatical
        consistencies,
the jarring affect
of forgetting to make sense,

i sit
in this tiny chair,
force words to combine,
allow space & location,

& you,

the vagrant on looker,
never even had a chance,

it's this,
this ending
that only makes
it affordable
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copy clerk

the table waits, eight or so in a broken line,
take this, but watch the edges, a paper cut away,

a room of white & grey, too much grey,
follow work-flow, workplace understanding,

it’s a mess of this & that, but the name,
dress to suit, don’t look up, camera eye,

security & the old man who pushes mail through
a machine, find food, but here we go,

paper upon paper, file & forget,
the experts of prep, with a gap in diversity,

a serial reinforcement across the floor,
remove sticky notes & staples,

don’t read too much, but information is
important, & here we are,

smile & look away, bald head & glasses,
wandering eyes watch the copier copy,

then again, perforated edges, cough &
smoke exhales, over the next few days,

the room will grow, smaller, to miss
the open space, the moments within,

arms against, now again, a return,
accents in voices, the nasal sound

of time & broken vowels, listen,
but here, this short ceiling, these cubes,

a room slipped inside as an after-thought,
the stamper stamps, they know their way around,

the upbeat onset of a job accepted, what cost,
paper, a question extended, think

within contained parameters, feed
the scanner, sort & lift the tray,

read into lines
& broken ideologies

reading into stories

outside the inscription, scattered pieces,
a lost mark, a bruise on the right hand side,
some disagree, others don’t,
though when they walk into a room,
lamp shades talk about dust
& a scratch on the floor remembers the feel of skin,
but as a leaf runs across the street, yellow
appears & we know this,
a choice between nights that folds sheets
of rain into paper & a gust of wind that blows
cool air under our tongues &
the feel of each strand of hair

326

when blue leads to white, trees grow a darker green, it’s obvious, there is an antenna just outside the window, & not a wind blows, but let’s call the neighbors and wait for rain, what of clear skies & the small amount of dirt under your nails, i could tell you about the breathing habits of worms, however, when the roof caves in, i’ll know you are right, with a side of left, the time happens to be dependent & it’s no time at all, the little box of goodies is gone & a shrub just walk away, call this what you will, or don’t, i read in a book once that trees are made from paper and when a tree reads it eats itself, what’s the difference, the pickets aren’t here to listen, the brick is no longer red, but there is a funny shade of brown that listens when i call it, i don’t want to alarm you, the ice-cube tray said something about you yesterday, i didn’t really listen, felt marker & a painted gate, clouds stand still, still enough to be seen, so, & like i said

to be continued: XXX – (pockets

with hands, together, reach for fingers
to interlace, coin the phrase & fidget, once more,
books for reading, others blank and
waiting, words form on the nail, lint to join
the conversation, left to the wash, but still
intact, shirt sleeve of no use, perhaps
a series, hide inside, the shape of something,
fold over the seam, contain the meaning,
buttons & a wallet lost, hold onto & pull,
place the message, thumb the outside,
a place to remain