? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 12

Contest Winners

Tim Wood

Marginalia Inter Alia


Found the word lonely
sketched next to the first poem

and revenge, and love,
and poor scribbled on other pages.
A smudged happy by the line
“Here by myself, I do as I please.”
Nothing after page 9. Unread?
The rest of the poems rest

like pods of birds I saw lift off of

a telephone wire this morning.
I thought about

how easy it is
to find words for this and turn them

into a poetic line.
In fact, I’m sure

this line has already been written
and glossed,

bulwarked against
a lightly penciled freedom.

Even so, we sing of dreams
and say we’re not guilty

of what we’ve been accused
and look for rescue in cues

taken from augury, jury verdicts, fame,
anything that erases

the names we give to things,
a tourniquet of etiquette we turn into

a word to sum up what we feel when
the train derails in the rain

and we hear of injuries and deaths. In this life,
so full of flaws and accident, what is it

that calls us to wonder,
that breaks into our logic and wrecks,

inter alia,
what we thought the world was

before we took note of it
and wrote it down?