Spoiled Paper

by Lois Marie Harrod

Writing is not only useless, it’s spoiled paper. Padget Powell

But I like the Venn diagrams
my coffee cup leaves on soiled sheets,
those laced circles, smears and drips,

circuses that spill into existence
and fade . . .
without clang or simper.

And how odd a tipped letter, say a lecherous l,
can lift a word into a world
that begets and spends and spending, spins.

See my plum tree whirl,
masses of flowers, so no surprise, is it,
that growling p turns soil to spoil,

oh beasty garden, all pure and perish,
tomorrow’s petals stained like parchment,
tarnishing the donkey grass.

Borrow is my yard, used my grace,
so let every line slop, decay
in its hummings and slowings.

It’s what must happen
so we can begin again—
whether we bear fruit or knot.