stealing paper back
------------------------

only poets and artists should be
allowed to handle paper --
only they truly sigh to 
run their palms across 
a velvet sheet
lost in the aesthetics of 
ink and fiber
pages open and waiting for
outpourings of thought and
attempts at communication

in blankness there is such
expectancy

poetry will not be constrained to 
the tidy columns of a legal pad --
the lines demand to be penned
violently across the page
ignoring guidelines and margins
curving to follow the edge
flowing from script to block letters
crossing out or tumbling onward...

the most outrageous thoughts
cannot stay enclosed in file folders
or be sent as attached memos
they distribute themselves across
torn bits of brown paper bags
napkins and graph pads
where later they may be discovered
not by collectors of facts
but only by lovers of words
and exploration

let lawyers beware: no more will
the reams lie quiet
an army of poets is coming
to reassert the glories of the page
and overturn this paper chase
once and for all

	-acm  (5/97)