Another Poem from the Probation Office

It has occurred to me

that I’ve written more poems

in a probation office

than any other American poet.

Did I just call myself a poet?

First time for that.

First time for everything

in a probation office.

Why does the probation office

compel the poem

and not the essay or editorial?

The screenplay or short story?

I think it’s because

I can’t help notice

the staccato of nothingness

that happens in the room.

I wrote another poem this morning:


Probation Office 8-28-17

The air conditioner conditions

The Coke machine hums

The gray carpet carpets.

I sit down next to a man.

He says:

“I went to jail for three days,

for drinking on my birthday.”

That’s a country song right there.

I am surrounded by country songs in here.

Am I one?

We wait, Waiting For The Man.

That is not a country song.

A young woman walks in

wearing a bra and jean shorts.

“Bubba” is tattooed on her right thigh.

She sits down and fills out forms.

The man brings up the Green River killer.

The Green River killer!

I make a note of it.

He just gave me a great tip

for my new detective novel!

I tell him that.

He shakes with joy.

He reads the newspaper,

the police log.

There he is.

He gives a little laugh.

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