Photocopies and Staples

© 2003 by Martin Grider All rights reserved. Mpls. MN, 55408


poem courier dance in spring singing a brief anthem to wordsex Hindenbursting difference of parts Laura, grumbling They have their tricks and I have mine. abstruse or not abstruse agate clouds ephemeral a sleep poem i AM yelling. low growling rhythm Typeface Untitled today a timebomb summer shower

poem courier

text is not interactive reading is linear a word per thought too fast for conscious- ness to follow a path through wordiness not seeing the letters for the words not seeing meaning for the letters

dance in spring

we're shoo-bop-ing in the morning on my futon, lazy as spring leaves uncovered patches of skin like the ground outside she stands up after, "there's almost no snow left." like she's feeling sory for it. like melting is like dying and we melt or die, lazy like snow running into the gutters she doesn't have time to shower, and will smell like me.

singing a brief anthem to wordsex

syllables as actions words asphyxiate on paragraphs paragraphs smother in novels seeing the vowel-forest for the trees syntax is reflex semantics, the poetry-killer drown linguistically, drown


We are zeppelin. Exploding clouds painted helium red and yellow, spark-colors at sunset. I'm hanging from parachute clouds by hail handrails, slippery raindrop ropes. I've taken a bottle of the explosion with me to the park by our apartment, cloudbursting. Grass is tickling the back of my neck, dirty imperfect patches evolve slowly to mud; and for the moment even insects are too stunned or wet to move. I try not to squint at the assault and to enjoy the perspective of each individual shooting star of water. Ultimately, failing. The tails of each drop point to the earth's center. Simultaneously pointing at me, painting me the center of the universe. Each spatter on my cheek suggests I am an integral part of a giant equation. This span of time, the length of my life, could not exist without me. We are too small or I am too big, and dirty cloth and metal bones are screaming, falling in oily flame. I am hot, despite the rain.

difference of parts

Dan came over last week and admitted he couldn't remember the simple mathematical procedure of division. While Nate ridiculed him, I realized that some specifics were fuzzy in my mind too. Fuzzy like last night, when you wanted me to clean and I just wanted to relax. This simple procedure -- picking things up and putting them someplace else -- was a headache, a fuzzy hole in my happiness. And the whole night we were divided. You slept without touching me. I woke to your absence. "What?" you said. I left for work. It's the part about remainders I don't remember. When you've got the numbers stacking downward, I know there's some subtraction involved... And what is a remainder anyway? Just some arbitrary number left over, left out of the real answer. And in the car, I imagined all the things I left out, unsaid apologies and explanations. Now I figure, as long as the numbers come out even we'll be fine.

Laura, grumbling

your fingers fondle my scalp as I imagine you would delicately handle sushi, squishing first in your hands then in your belly full like a carnival of noodles, or salad with head-ringing crutons sprinkled on top in a bowl you bought at Target for our new house on 29th we painted grey and red in your room, the one that would fit your tall bed where you are trying to sleep and I am writing this keeping you awake

They have their tricks and I have mine.

I can make myself float by staring into light bulbs, so they use fluorescents. When I breathe the open air I too am open, and my mind floats into cloud-scapes-- so they don't use windows you can open, and the air is forced to us, cold, through pipes and vents. But secretly I drink a glass of water and even though it could taste better, it is cool and wet in my throat and I am on an ocean floating on my back in a wooden raft. I can smell the seagulls who land at my feet and my hair is floating in a pool around me. The boat lurches softly as the keel scrapes onto a sandy beach.

abstruse or not abstruse

in the sand a pebble bigger than an eye that is a brain in the brain an eye bigger than a shut-tight eye that is a word in a word an idea bigger than a word that is an ostrich

agate clouds

Seasons change like agates smoothing You could never notice something so slow But from day to day the burnt umber clouds settle later in the sky Like stones on the horizon Slowly wearing away to smoothness In the sun's relentless stream


--adv. lasting only one day, or only a short time. Some insects live like falling stars-- tides of tiny lives that ebb and flow. A second is the sound of breaking glass. A billion atoms reside in a grain of sand. Our lives too, like the shooting star, our breath shallow next to the fog horn's gasp. I am an insect. Sticking to these walls, my eyes see thousands of facets; my brain can only process them all at once. And see your face in amber, crystallized like sugar--you're sweet. Your smile fleeting, like a bullet's wings, sharp and sinister. Your eyes are the falling of the falling star; a sadness shines them opal. We are hurling toward the heat of atmosphere, burning into ourselves--the selves we'll become; and we are so, so tiny.

a sleep poem

here we are, floating in our beds night descends, we hover at the edges of insanity, mind's turmoil takes center stage, sleep begins we breath without thinking about it, we toss and turn, without thinking about it, our eyelids flutter, iris imprints like ants under a napkin -- and we're thinking alright, we're creating a universe under a napkin somehow, at night, a heaviness sets in, the weight of day, your shoulders, your forehead, your temples everything is slower, lazy, your reflexes betray you here we are floating morning, a depression, as you realize you didn't get enough sleep you weren't crazy enough

i AM yelling.

you can't see me flailing emotive words floundering in political spittle perturbed by right-wing flies on MY wall because I'm pretending Twain was right I'll appear less ignorant in silence you know I avoid confrontation? I'm an independent-opinion-armada, rusting in a placid bay of political-agoraphobia. but i AM yelling a megaphone in a soundproof balloon and some-particularly-frustrating-day... pop!

low growling rhythm

sunset is cosmopolitan a girl screams in the street our feet are sore, tired weeks are packaged time it's a soup, this existence beefy, hearty--desperate the way I tie my shoelaces dictates our relationship it's our butterfly in china the price of tea is a farce money is the great lie a bootstrap that holds us together still, while we're resting we whiz around the sun, and fast tiny buckets, holding water I am the dog that growls, behind the fence, too lazy to get up too lazy, even, to bark a girl screams in the street I look out the window for it, then go back to playing my games Typeface Untitled Fixed width fonts friendly like ant forms; square and regularly ordered quarantine words. Knife-thin stripe infections; words stiletto wrapping as air-thin hair. Seventeen-carrot- characters, small canisters contain large ideas. Your tiny typeface all spread butterball down bread pages. --- Character akimbo, standing betwixed ems of rock-solid pizel-perfect gun steel spaces. Wry keepers of style. Organized into as little or as many soldier's columns as your ASCII art heart so desires. In this interface infinity resides.

today a timebomb

we've fallen into disrepair our gears and doo-hickeys all limp and broken our rules and dice and scorecards lost each shell of gunpowder-stuffed conversation, each TNT wrapped stick of satisfaction, each plastic-explosive-smile ...set to blow. today a timebomb tomorrow, ashes and cinders tomorrow, rubble and debris tomorrow, desolation, desperation, destruction, tomorrow a radioactive wasteland inhabited by mutants and sterile impotent infants clinging to the scorched and mutilated carcasses of their would-be parents today a timebomb ticking in unfinished sentences ticking in unsatisfied bedsheets ticking in uncooperative and ungrateful and unrequited conversations tomorrow we'll both have lost the war sitting at home in our homelands wistfully drinking beers on the front porch wishing we were back in the "good old days" when we knew who the bad guys were when we could shoot to kill when we could napalm-dance our way out of any situation today a timebomb tonight an exploding heart

summer shower

next door, long distance summer kills in little deaths heat is murder ring tones like rhinestones playing touch phone tag long after bedtime undercover siren singing "Let it ring once, I'll call you right back." conversations like cyclones weeks cradling handsets pressing flesh to plastic loving dial tones playing a music of discovery then, waiting, like melting butter "ok, I love you." a rain, see you next fall sky like plaster and sandpaper cigarette colored clouds ash on the horizon our tepid voices halting and faltering halt and fault stammer our goodbyes all is not resolved I hear a pin drop, raindrop, teardrop it was the last call.

Back * * * Home