Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CLAP ON, CLAP OFF

Yesterday, I impulsively
purchased a Clapper (As Seen on TV!)
from my local Walgreen's,

whisked it home directly, eager
to automate several bedroom appliances,
and just as quickly went to pieces
when it didn't function as intended.

When I woke up this morning,
begrudgingly switching on my bedside lamp
and small box fan manually,
I realized—this is exactly

why I write poetry. It isn't
the blessed rage for order found
in a freshly plowed field of
perfect straight lines,

or the seductive dance of a
brand new shape
undulating down the length
of a virgin-white page,

or the drowsing hymn-like quality
of sonorous vowel sounds
repeating comfortably at regular intervals—
though those things too are interesting.

No; really it's because
life is already so filled
with poetry's exact opposite,

I desperately need to balance it out
to keep me—and everyone else
from toppling right off
the pages we've been writing

and landing, with a flat little clap
in the trash can—and perhaps accidentally
triggering the Christmas lights
or the television to turn on

in the empty home
of a single man in his 30s
who's so profoundly lost in thought
he might never make it home again.

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