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The Paste Man


You’d better have an adhesive kind of mind

if you want to keep up with global fluctuations

in the quality of sound: a sudden irruption

of rain sound, say, from a dull red canopy

across the street from Frank’s place, one single

shot in the night, foot pulled from muck,

tape hiss. The slippery dusk conspires

to keep you one step behind yourself.

Delivery trucks disguise themselves as chandeliers,

recede into the ceiling with a barely audible

click!, sealing you off from their treats,

radical news or fruit juice combinations.

At the Commercial Museum a man’s super-glued

to the sky. He can see you right now.

You look like a speck of confetti

careless sweepers left behind in the convention aftermath.

from The Waste Land and Other PoemsFind more by John Beer at the library

Copyright © 2010 John Beer
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Published in John Beer Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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