#190: Wheels

For day #2 of napowrimo, I offer up a found poem, a poem that steals its text wholesale from some other non-poetic source, say, a newspaper article, or a sign, or the print on a cereal box. While the general rule of thumb is to find text that is innocent of even remotely being like poetry, I’ve chosen to steal from something more literary: Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Like yesterday’s poem, this is an activity I also foisted on my students, a group of which just finished studying this particular play.


Wheels (from Tom Stoppard)

Wheels have been set
in motion,
and they have their
own place,
to which we are . . .


Each move is
dictated by
the previous one–
that is the meaning

of order.

If we start
being arbitrary,
it’ll just be shambles:
at least, let us hope so.


if we happened,
just happened to discover,
or even suspect,
that our spontaneity
was a part of their order
we’d know that we were


We do on stage
the things that are
supposed to happen off.
Which is a kind of integrity, if you
look on every exit
being an entrance 

somewhere else.  

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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