Poetry Issue 21


Carlos Quijon, Jr.

Object Lessons


I derive pleasure from objects. The pebble stays cold, I put it on my tired eyes. I listen to the conch’s patient comprehensions. I bite my pencil. I unfold paperclips. In the morning of E—’s departure I caught an errant piece of thread in my shirt, I pulled it out. I have found a new distraction in the form of keeping an inventory of keepsakes. In this intervention I discovered a number of ref magnets were broken. A number of bookmarks unopened. If you think about it, objects are obstacles. An object, etymologically, “something thrown in the mind’s way,” say, a mind’s boulder, a mind’s beams or bars, a mind’s high walls and manholes, a mind’s burning poles and ropes. A mind’s someone from your past. Objects are obsessions. They haunt and possess you. They keep you from moving forward. Something like a collusive comma, a preemptive pause, a derivative declaration: I objected when E— told me his plans to go back to his parents’ house.


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