Fall/Winter 2014

Jared Smith


 A man buys two pens
    and puts them in  his pocket
in the convenience store
the cash register accounts for two pens
   as two wide angle cameras take him in
side the cameras four more pens
click into the man’s pockets
and the bar code reader sends data
while the parking lot camera scans two pens
clipped onto a sweat stained shirt, and
by the time he gets home 18 pens
bulge in his pocket, closing him in
while computers trace two pens back
to an assembly line in eastern Asia
where caps are placed on these things


The man lies awake all night.  His pens become immense and
do not have enough ink to write poems of the people he has touched.
His pens have meant more to people than all the poems he writes.

He knows his pens are filled with hungry haunted nightmares

A former New Yorker, Jared now roams the mountains of Colorado. He is a Director and Advisory Board Member of The New York Quarterly, as well as Poetry Editor of Turtle Island Quarterly, an e-zine out of California. His 11th volume of poetry, To The Dark Angels, will be released by NYQ Books this spring.



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