the difference between somebody and someone

the waiting room in my dreams and the waiting room right now
taste differently in my mouth, like the difference between
somebody and someone. i am two opposing poles that know no
shadow so don’t tell me what to do. drink the glass of charcoal
like a sacrament and tell them it was just an accident, you didn’t
mean to take 28. or was it 29. or was it only wishful thinking. in
the hospital a boy draws me a love song with the tip of his cigarette
on the walkway in the courtyard. he had to draw it because if he tried
to sing it to me they would CODE 9 him and needle him into silence.
when we get out he will call me for 279 consecutive days to tell me
about the weather. and i will be grateful. somebody will talk to me.
someone will listen.



  1. I always feel that to write free verse as prose, or prose as free verse, shows a remarkable amount of self-confidence. You’re not afraid to ignore conventions of punctuation etc, nor the convention of not putting numerals in poetry – none of this is new, of course, but it still takes nerve to do it and self-confidence to pull it off. I love the image of the boy drawing a love song with the tip of his cigarette.

    Marie Marshall


  2. for some reason, what really stood out about this for me was that it was a “glass of charcoal” instead of, say, a styrofoam cup… it made me imagine drinking that (awful) stuff out of crystal goblets, feeding lies to the white coats in the antiseptic elegance of an old-time operating theater… very vivid. all too vivid.

    the drawing with the cig tip is also a gorgeous image. you sure can paint an atmosphere.


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