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The physics of poetry

I work, but nothing ever moves.
My labor is not much compensated,
although my work can defy physics
and my sweat does not come cheap.

Some nights still Mingus moves through vinyl grooves,
chasing unlikely phrases across the turntable,
urging me to work in unexplored canyons
where I could be making lovers’ leaps.

My work ends in industrial accidents
that can lead to severed members
and gruesome scars. My work is
a handshake missing fingers.

My work refuses to keep pace with
assembly line rhythms that are known
to make things move. My work aches
when it strains against a mountain of
granite ghosts, and nothing
ever moves.


  Kenneth Salzmann