Old Dogs

SLANT


I insert
another fresh page
into the
waiting machine

the paper
never seems level
or square with the guide
so I hit the release
pull one side
then the other
reclamp the sheet
only to find the edge
still at an angle
mocking all
of my efforts

sometimes
this sideshow
drags on for minutes
tightening the knot
in my gut
until I feel
that an eruption
is unavoidable

still
I can't ignore
the fact
that everything
must be perfect
before I can
begin

of course
the joke is that
it couldn't matter less
whether the page
is straight
or not
since revision
is eminent

it could
just as well be
an old paper bag
at a diagonal
of extreme
futility

all of this
dimensional distress simply
a delaying tactic

I'm just
not ready
to face
all that whiteness
even though I know
that the words
will come
as they always
have

still
I need
a slight respite
as this poem
has now
become