Satanic Stanzas; On Hands After Reading Bad Poetry

Laura V. Rivera

At an attempt to feel— nothing. Untouched

as an ugly rock and the shell of expired eggs,

I turned off the light in the reading room.

Pardon the solitary practice of seeming; to indulge in—

ah, the very weather that is—aha

that starts private twitches, sudden conscious racket.


I lattice fingers into a bored cat’s cradle

that my x-ray brain knows are rocky bones

and worm candy.  Something sort of wonderful.

Pardon the solitary game of cards, that I lost.

I drank to the Invisible Victor,

making a point to myself.


Hands, still alive, pat on words like good dogs

and scratch goodly at the cream arm pit of a book,

but I do not feel for them the rest of the day.

Pardon the solitary practice of forgetting

but poetry, the poetry was stale. There is no

a body, a name.


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