Stenography

I am sitting at the table in a leather chair

in his well-lit room

confidently reading ‘E’ from the top of a chart

whose letters drop like a waterfall

over sharp granite

without stanzas or full stops

as if the decision to shape it this way

was mimetic

 

I can’t hide my increasing struggle

as they get smaller and smaller

 

not

under a TV

that I do not own

or

by 2. fly-flicking this

novel

 

can I, I ask that white wall,

write a poem that isn’t predicted

and written

before I write it?

 

these pages are thin

 

agents

have moved the

strongrooms of the cold war

into my brain

where they wait

American,

Russian,

the Asia-Pacific

 

it crackles:

 

white

white

white

 

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