(with thanks to Paula Kelley)

Much of my life has been spent
breaking things indiscriminately:
toys, bonds, watches, promises.
But this unspoken philosophy of

breaking things indiscriminately
does not apply to the line.
This unspoken philosophy
contains that sole exception. It

never applies to the line.
Words are chosen carefully,
the sole exception being
in the midst of heated discourse.

Otherwise, words are chosen carefully.
The lines don’t piddle down the page
or end sharply, as in heated discourse.
Staccato, terse, jarring line breaks,

words like pellets piddling down the page,
is simply not my preferred method.
I’ve nothing against jarring line breaks
if there’s some thought behind them.

Simply put – my preferred method
is probably every bit as tiresome
to read. There is thought behind
it all, really almost punishingly so.

The arrangement is every bit as tiresome
as balancing a checkbook, or matching socks.
They are chores, these words, punishingly so.
Undone, they silently nag at me.

Unbalanced figures and mismatched socks
sit in festering, remonstrative piles
unmoved as I ignore the silent nagging.
The words, on paper, not reviewed

will also fester; remonstrative piles
unchecked for indiscriminate breakage.
These words, on paper, unreviewed,
like so much of a life spent breaking.

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