First Post

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

dull, lifeless,

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

The honeymoon

Is the teacher’s desk


A pen and a pencil

Are one.

A pen and a pencil and a stapler

Are one.


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

unsuspecting victims

they say paper beats rock

I say stapler conquers all.

With great respect to Wallace Stevens and a shout out to Jim Carroll

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