Sunday morning, Century Salon (a poem)

Bonus round—another long poem from the typewriter (in edited form).

The keys at the low end of the piano
seldom generate anything musical

That’s where we drag our experiments
and love of unpopular acts of deconstruction

When sunlight pours in through open windows
we are compelled to stop
in order to witness the complete victory of light over dark

Resistance is a shadow

The housecat has yet to get the message
she goes running back and forth between the two
between expectant looks in my direction
as if she’s waiting for something to happen

I shrug, then continue typing

This isn’t a transcript of my thoughts
but it is definitely less considered
than what I write on the page

The next words to come arrive just in time
with only scant regard for continuity
now that I don’t have to bother
with forming individual letters every time

Even so, it is no small source of amazement
that the violence inflicted upon the page
in row after row after row
reveals a sense of order
even if only along the left margin

I want to type random strings of words on bookmarks
and hide them in unpurchased novels at the bookstore
but they are surprisingly loose against the platen
so I have to hold them in place
to ensure the structural integrity of each line
which is maybe three or four words at best
and it’s hard to be clever or profound
when you think too much

The most striking phrases come out spontaneously—
and why shouldn’t they?

We improvise so much in everyday conversation
that composition is unfamiliar and uncomfortable
and the results reflect their origins

This is how I know I’m not normal

I spend so much time working out what I want to say
that spontaneous speech is a foreign language
and I get lost in the grey areas
and in the margins

When I try to be spontaneous
it isn’t long before I’m far from where I started

I hate to live with incoherence
but I am incoherent

The sunlight pouring in through the open window is tempting
but I’ve grown accustomed to the pounding as I press the keys
punching letters all over the page

I found that one pencil I’ve been looking for—
but I hate writing with pencil

When the point loses its sharpness
there’s not enough resistance to make writing satisfying

When I break off the tip
the uneven fracture creates two lines in parallel
resulting in an unwanted blurring effect—
and the meaning of what’s on the page
is blurry enough

The sunlight pouring in through the open window
is almost overhead
but it’s cloudy now, so the shadows are shortening
and the eaves are catching enough of the light that’s left
that the room has darkened

(6 May 2018)