from A Monologue for Voices
Ray fixed the typewriter.
(The typewriter is fixed.)
There is coffee but no spoon.
(The paper never stopped working.)
Two cups today.
(Coffee and orange juice.)
The typewriter is fixed.
(One cup is green.)
It appears green.
(Before the typewriter was fixed, it was broken.)
Ray watched the typewriter until he knew what was wrong.
(When a pen stops working, you throw it away.)
Sometimes I put the cap back on and put it in my pocket.
(One cup is empty.)
“Empty” is a word that rarely indicates a state of reality.
(“Empty” is empty.)
Before the typewriter was broken, it worked.
(The sky is filled with rain.)
I know because I can hear it.
(I don’t see it; I see them.)
Rain fills the puddles.
(When it worked, it was always working.)
There are too many rain drops to count.
(Except when I wasn’t typing.)
I am upset because there are too many rain drops to count.
(Statement of fact.)
Expression of unhappiness.
(Expression of rain clouds.)
Count the ways the rain drops.
(The typewriter writes.)
We talked this morning before she left.
(A way of talking about location.)
Where is the rain when it is not falling?
(Drops drip off the trees.)
She picked a fight instead of me.
(Without pots, we wouldn’t have “potholes.”)
What would we do without tears?
(Questions are a way of saying something as if someone else said it.)
Ray fixes things.
(Before him they are broken.)
She has a lot of work to do.
(She has too much work to do.)
We talked about what we were feeling.
(I can feel the pen only if I think about it.)
Nor the tablecloth.
(I hear the rain slowing down.)
The officer said, “Slow down, okay?”
(She walked down the stairs.)
I will say it: puddles are just the ground without the rain.
(She picked me instead of work.)
Today is very warm.
(And I am learning guitar.)
Ken Rumble is the director of the Desert City Poetry Series, a member of the Lucifer Poetics Group, and a contributing editor of Fascicle and Drunken Boat. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in GutCult, Parakeet, Word For/Word, Shampoo, Carolina Quarterly, effing magazine, Cranky, Mipoesias, and others. “A Monologue for Voices” has been influenced by the poems of Emmanuel Hocquard and a new writing process. The lines in each couplet alternate from being typed on a manual Smith-Corona Silent typewriter to being written long hand in a Mead 80 page spiral bound notebook.