Today one of my poetry presenters did not show up, so we had some unplanned time. The amazing synchronicity of the following events led to a collaborative poem.
Yesterday, one of my students brought us Jim Carroll, and his 8 Fragments for Kurt Cobain, and Carroll was in the company of Robert Frost and recent Pulitzer Prize winner, Bob Dylan. Today another student reintroduced her classmates to Wallace Stevens. There were 15 students in class today, so each wrote their own stanza regarding the stapler. Here is the result. You can hear Stevens and Carroll in the work.
15 ways of Looking at a Stapler
A bind brings satisfaction,
it is valued with a sense of stability.
There is reassurance and tranquility in a staple
but with one tear, it could all be undone.
The stapler sits there
and rarely ever used
but not useless.
Lonely boy moves from his corner
Greeting his trusty new metal companion
Its gleaming teeth disperse
pair by pair
An injection of serenity
Oh, thin men of Parker
Why do you imagine blue staples?
Do you not see how the stapler
Staples around the bagpipes
Of the colonel about you?
A bullet punctures the flesh
A fast moving objective
While the staple’s soul breaks through the paper
Among the piles of paper,
the only thing keeping order
the stapler was holding it all together
The monkey lies
Stapler kisses aren’t so sweet
but at least
pierced knuckles are sexy.
Among a mountain of messy papers
A stapler lies still
A man ponders the stapler
what to think
only that its job
is to seal papers
The sound of marriage
Is the teacher’s desk
A pen and a pencil
A pen and a pencil and a stapler
Among papers, pencils, and other things
silently sitting is the solemn stapler
still and motionless, it sits
Loose paper flying all around
Trying to find each other
Trying to become one
But at last they are lined up
Binding to each other with one quick staple
Conjoining sheets that have no interest in each other
Pierces through them for all eternity
Like pasta at a wedding
Among the aisles of office supplies
lies the stapler
the lone predator of the cubical-classroom universe
ready to sink its teeth into
they say paper beats rock
I say stapler conquers all.
With great respect to Wallace Stevens and a shout out to Jim Carroll