Sunday, April 16, 2017

National Poetry Eh Who Cares, Part 3: Fun with Spacing

Continuing with the trend of publishing what the heck ever odd, orphaned poems I want to for National Poetry Month, here is a poem I wrote a while back that plays with spacing. I’m not usually one for getting fancy with that sort of thing—I like to keep my poetry fairly straightforward--but I wanted to play around with the concept. Here are the results:


Box                             for observational


Box                             to notate,

to deconstruct.

Insert Tab A.             It’s hypnotic the motion

of tuck and fold.

Imagine:                     flaps as wings

I have kept my life
small, the way you asked me to.

Box:                            Imagine it flattened, a throwing star,

how much more hands
are capable of than this.

Box                             upturned carelessly on a slipshod lawn, unwitting

shelter for that which tumbles into it.

Box                             we will not breathe a word
of containment.         Box, a holding place.  In a way, a heart. Miraculous

origami.                     Enjoy, especially the

violent                        surgery

of splitting                 tape with razors

of looking                  and removing.

Then                           the breaking down,

A weakened              structure, lolling

against others           similarly collapsed.

Gone soft,                  we think in our power.

Broken down.           I have always

sagged in your honor.

Refused                     to hold, or

hold up.

In other news, I am getting very frustrated about my eyes. I recently switched optometrists, coincidentally at the same time that the brand of contacts I’ve been wearing for the last fifteen years was discontinued, and none of the new brands I’ve tried are working. The problem with optometrists is that they always want to get clever with the vision hacks. They have this undying faith in the idea that my eyes will “adjust” if they bump down my prescription a bit, or give me one contact for close up and one for far away, expecting somehow that both eyes will meet in the middle and all will be eye nirvana. None of it’s true. My eyes will not adjust. My eyes are very stubborn and stuck in their corneal ways. They’re not putting up with any of this convoluted algorithmic tinkering, no sirree Bob. They want their old contacts back. I’ve been wearing the last one of my old set for far too long now, and they’re about to disintegrate. I have my fourth appointment in six weeks this week to see if they can finally find something that will work. If not, I’m going to give up contacts altogether and just be a lame-o four eyes for the rest of my life. Bleh.

--Kristen McHenry

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