Stare at the background until the words disappear.
Stare at the words, ingesting them, until the blackboard could be any dreamspace.
Through one eye only, fist over the other, sleep calling.
Through the eyes of Wendy Ceccerelli, who sits beside you and whose pigtails make you fancy a world made of light and chimera.
Through one eye only, half your face palsied, perhaps only temporarily.
Stand up and shout, Viva la revolucion! Down with the books of the oppressors!
Through x-ray specs, after noting the new substitute wears panties as thin as the lap of water.
While holding the hand of your best friend, Pat, arrested for smoking and writing the words to Subterranean Homesick Blues on the stall wall.
While holding the hand of Wendy Ceccerelli (see above), sweating.
With one shoe off, inside of which rests, like a yolk in an egg, the test answers.
Naked, unprepared for the test, the final exam.
Sleeping, dreaming of being naked, unprepared for the test, the final exam.
Holding the hand of Laura Anderson, the ugliest girl in the class, who has a crush on you which you are well aware of, which you ignore, which you pray the bigger boys will not discover until school is over and Laura Anderson is transformed from toad to princess, and you from boy to man, from boy to man.
Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published two novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002) and We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006). His first full length poetry collection, Some Identity Problems (2008), is out from Foothills Publishing and his book of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations, appeared in March 2009. He has two children, Toby, age 20, and Chloe, age 13. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He also claims to have written In The Year 2525. He can be found at coreymesler.com.
“The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author” - Roland Barthes