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Directions’ Introduction

November 25, 2009

by Francis Raven

How to despise a word
so much you inscribe
it on your forehead every night
before going out to the bars
so you won’t have to say it.
How to hide behind a sign.
And then, how just to hide.
How to despise a word
so much that when uttered
you immediately need a gimlet.
How to hate a word so much
you write it on thousands of pieces
of construction paper
and rip them up
while watching reruns of Friends.
How to surreptitiously cut
your word out of every dictionary
at your “neighborhood” Borders.
How to burn a word anyway.
How to laugh inappropriately and off-key
when anyone intones it.
How to change its meaning
by forming several on-campus focus groups.
How to still have it stab you.
How to kick its referent
around the block
so you wake with sore feet
and ripped shoelaces.

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Francis Raven (website) is a graduate student in philosophy at Temple University. His books include 5-Haifun: Of Being Divisible (Blue Lion Books, 2008), Shifting the Question More Complicated (Otoliths, 2007), Taste: Gastronomic Poems (Blazevox 2005) and the novel, Inverted Curvatures (Spuyten Duyvil, 2005).

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  1. November 25, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Thought-snaring. I especially liked the opening lines and the gimlet.

  2. November 26, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Reading that I was wondering what the ultimate action might be. I think you found it with the reruns of Friends.

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