Too Many Conversations to Slough Off

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After the teacher conference

spent listening to others

speak of techniques

to hold their students

locked around an idea

of reading and writing

with little actual reading

or writing of consequence,

 

I am reminded of a Greek

statue of a wrestler,

who stands silent

scraping sweat and

filth from his arm,

his day done.

 

(November 11, 2018)

Obsessive Voice

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He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself:

Don’t pick it up;

 

He picks up the rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid—

 

He tells himself

Not to say such things.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid

 

For saying such things,

Then says them again.

 

He tells himself

Don’t pick it up.

 

He picks up the rock,

And puts it down.

 

(October 15, 2018)

 

 

 

 

A Shawl

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My world’s abraded,

Worn thin, roughly patched.

I’m often unsure what

I do; and, when I stand,

The ground bends and slides

Like a slow-motion

Tilt-a-Whirl

At a country fair.

 

To find a balance,

I write into the tatters,

To the frayed coherences,

Desperately spinning

New tales to old

As a balm against the cold.

 

(January 22, 2018)