Muse by Craig Ranapia


Thirteen Ways of Looking at A Kitset DVD Stand

(with profuse apologies to Wallace Stevens)



Among snowy Styrofoam wadding,

The only moving thing

Was the eye over the assembly instructions.



I was of three minds,

None of which

Can make sense of this gibberish.



The mind whirled in a pool of flop sweat.

It was a small part of the pantomime.



A man and a screwdriver

Are one.

A man and a screwdriver and a flesh wound

Are one.



I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of indecisions

Or the beauty of irritations,

Rod A in the right bracket B

Or the wrong one.



Translucent washers filled the floor

With barbaric glass.

The shadow of 24 hex bolts

Crossed them, to and fro.

The mood

Traced in the snarling

An indecipherable curse.



O thin men of AVEC Home Storage,

Who do you imagine enjoys this?

Do you not see how fingers

Are thumbs, become two left feet,

Of the fools about you?



I know noble aspects

Of lucent, inescapable domesticity;

But I know, too,

That tradesmen are involved

In what I know.



When Step 7 flew out of sight,

It marked the edge

Of one of many tea breaks.



At the sight of the spare bits

(I’m sure that’s not right),

Even the bawds of euphony

Would blush at the swearing.



I took another cig break

For self-reproach.

Once, a fear pierced me,

In that one mistook

The shadow of a missing page

For Step 8.



It is not collapsing.

Nobody is dying.



It can be Sunday afternoon all day

Every day dodging

All the things to do, you know.

The damn thing sits

In the corner. Mocking.

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