BY BRIAN LOMBARDI

I try to fit my writing in between laundry cycles, but literature

great and terrible, gets in the way.

There are words for the sweat under my shirt

by the wall of vehement dryers,

but they aren’t the words I want to use.

The pens are uncapped, each one poised

by an open notebook next to a backlit keyboard,

all perched and eager under my eyes,

all pristine and unfaithful, driven by my lack of touch.

We joust in frustration, but I remember

they’re inanimate and clarity helps me lose.

There’s a stalemate at my desk

but the chessboards are sleeping downstairs.

I’m playing with myself to no pleasurable result.

Now I’m shaking with hunger.

I’m fasting at a glacial pace.

I don’t understand the act of pushing off

to combat the act of pushing something else off.

The only way a word could keep me warm

is if I published it as kindling, stowed for winter.

Money will make me more creative, I say.

I’m too cheap to buy it, I remember.

I can brag an unbridled lack of both quality and quantity.

I still remember the plot I dreamed up in the shower,

and still the character I fictionalized on my way to class.

I wouldn’t worry about it, but I’ve forgotten how to not.

Comment