Steno

By Mark Kraushaar

“Hypergraphia is a behavioral condition
characterized by the intense desire to write . . . ”
“It is a symptom associated with temporal lobe epilepsy.”

It’s as if . . . , he says, It’s like . . . , or, It’s ABOUT
things being simply THERE, molecular,
blue, strewn, flattened, aflame.
He pulls up the shade and looks out.
There’s this kind of accounting he does:
sidewalk, hedgerow, phone pole.
He lists the round and the ready-made.
He notes the hand-carved and the curved.
He sorts by color and shape.
He lists by size and by brightness.
He notes the nautical, normal and nameless.
It’s Wednesday and he’s moved from columns
to rows: alphabetic, magnetic, majestic . . .

He lists the unowned and the changed,
the charged, unsuitable and smooth.
He leans forward turning the page.
It’s like . . . , It’s as if . . . , he says,
as if these THINGS, this STUFF:
hunk and clod, object and article, gizmo,
whatnot, doodad, exactingly placid, substantial
and actual, for knowing nothing,
know it all: guruish shoe-tree, savvy axle.
He opens the door and sits on the stoop.
It’s as if each thought over-laps the last.
A girl on a bike goes by.


Mark Kraushaar has new work forthcoming in AGNI, Antioch, and Barrow Street. A full length collection, Falling Brick Kills Local Man, was published by University of Wisconsin Press as winner of the Felix Pollak Prize. A second, The Uncertainty Principle, was published by Waywiser Press as winner of the Anthony Hecht Prize.

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