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SHOCKOE READER .COM

Internet Poetry Zine, Richmond, VA

challenging, edgy, gutsy, turgid writing for the naughty aughties

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JULY  2007



UNLESS

    audio version mp3

Unless I had a piece of paper in front
of me, I didnít know what to do.

Itís like putting a puppy on an open
newspaper to do his business.

You donít expect him to learn to read
but he figures out what to do.

The business of knowing what to do
comes more easily to those who

Get a degree, get a job, settle down,
raise a family and take care of them.

That was not my plan Ė
 not my area of expertise.

My mom brought home stacks of
misprints and left over memos that
would have been packed away,
recycled for paper drives.

 She knew I thrived
on any kind of paper,
 yellow, blue, even pink with
officious writing on the back.

My folks always sat me down at a
table or desk and gave me blank sheets
of paper, pencils and crayons, leaving me
to my own devices, and for some

reason I always knew what to do.
 I made up something for the fridge.

Itís why Iím talking to you now
from this piece of paper.
Decisions I make
on paper tend to leap off
 the page into the air,
take flight  in performance,
thanks to the challenge of what to do,
O what shall we ever do!

 If you think this is about
having a bad memory
and writing stuff down,
Youíre just not getting it Ė

Kids have to learn this,
to explore the blue.
Unless I had a piece
of paper in front of me
 I didnít have a clue.

 

Paint Shopped Photo by EP Meagher
 

© Jimmy Warner, 2015

 

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