Sunday Poems 54: Home between pages

Opening twitter while lying on the floor, flicking past political memes, clicking the link to an article. A thousand word prediction. Disappointment, clicking the masthead to see the roster of visions of what’s to come. Visions of the future using the same four points as justification. There are so few points of evidence? Why is all of politics ascribed to personality? Back on twitter, everyone’s tweeting about the same headline. I click through to the story, read it, look back at twitter. It appears that the headline was all everyone read. And again, all morning.

I’m perpetually surrounded with piles of books, unread or hoping to reread, books I love, but some days I am glued to the lightbox of the cell phone instead. Maybe a book is open in the other hand, but the cell phone is still glowing. I find it useful to remember that every cell phone contains conflict minerals. The pulp industry can be pretty gross, but at least trees grow back. I’m trying to get back to books. I grew up with books, I miss them. 

Words can do almost anything. I marvel at their flexibility. We mustn’t confuse this unlimited potential with ineffability, however. With infinite uses come many horrific ones. Writing can do bad things: it can confuse us, it can scare us, and it can lead to hate. An advantage books have over internet publishing, an advantage not always taken advantage of, but an advantage nonetheless is that they have been considered for a long time, and there is potential for them to have room to elaborate. I’m trying hard to live with writing which is asking us to read it closely, asking for questions, asking for us to think on our own.

Sundays are good days to reorganize the bookshelf. It’s always a bigger project than it seems. At first, it appears that simply swapping the places of various books, like some sort of puzzle, will lead to an organized shelf. Eventually it becomes clear however, that it everything must come off. The afternoon passes. Suppertime, and it’s still not done. A few stacks of books on the floor. You kept getting distracted whenever you came across a book you haven’t read and forgot that you owned. Bed calls before the task is completed, but still, a satisfied feeling surrounds the bookshelf. Below is a poem. Pass it on to a friend if you think they’d enjoy reading it. As always, I’m here if you need to talk. Have a great week, everybody! 

after dodge

baking treats in the oven
they come out swollen
and bigger,
involved in some ceremony.

you have involved my body
in some kind of witchcraft.

you have dropped out of your car
examples of your work,
canvas spills and is ripped up
on the freeway.

shredded cabbage.

eating fruit through the mask.

there’s new work to be made.

we watch animals eat themselves,
the car dealership
pokes holes through faces every morning
and puts children in their advertisements.

you just finished working on a new piece
about the way humans
turn into each other
after watching each other’s faces,
my nose went crooked the same direction
yours is.

Theodore Fox is a poet living on Treaty Six land in Canada.
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