An Essay on Indifference


the technology was basic and difficult to understand

the outside seemed to have removed itself from interference


as in vice applied to territory as in acceptance of questionable forethought

as in don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone


No One appeared like a young boy popping out of a white shirt

No One said this No One only had to (you’re back let’s get it over with)


every agent doubled every unsung witness

no limp but each careful verbal shoe still lisping


No One knew the workers were already detached (you could open them all

with hinges placed at inappropriate but functional locations)


as in will you skate with my terrible monkey

as in honoring the bright intrusions of ice cream


each one emitted a solvent suggesting the activities of deciduous bees

each one chalky with deposits worried and singing (scanned for hidden pleasures)


as in delightful with errant salvage

as in beautifully mistaken narratives of gathering


delicate ice gathered therefore in persuasion of a fish-skin purse

No One found in this the thawing joker


as in a testimony as in A Testimony

as in clarity: inadequate


a variety of phonetic closet-signal remained as yet uncatalogued

in favor of a fluid thrush caged in aspic (parenthetically speaking)


as in cautiously following my anticipatory shoes

as in a small life of delicate conveyance


No One arrived on time for the several precautionary proceedings because

No One was not there to merely notice


that’s not always what No One does when you ignore No One

in the rain he looks old again as in the snow unborn


No One has told the truth so much about having fun he’ll have to lie about the sadness

he really doesn’t know which irony that is which gives the sadness a certain pleasure


by Rich Ives


Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. He has been nominated seven times for the Pushcart Prize. He is the 2012 winner of the Thin Air Creative Nonfiction Award. His books include Light from a Small Brown Bird (Bitter Oleander Press–poetry), Sharpen (The Newer York-fiction chapbook), The Ballooon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking-What Books) and Tunneling to the Moon (Silenced Press–hybrid).


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