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Words to Get Here from There


Do I need to be the map for you? You can’t read the key so
let me. This dot is a pitfall. That matching dot is a shortcut.
This dot moves if you don’t watch. That dot watches you
move. The spot I’m too big to fit is me. I navigate by looking
backward. Your destination is catching up. Go faster than
the past. Go past the sign you missed. Go through
landmarks you thought you knew. I’m the turn you’re
already making. Right is right. Left is also right. Your route
might be wrong. Take the straightaway to spite me. Stop at
your opposite. Stop when you reach what you can’t. The end
is a crossroads without an outlet. Street at the end becomes
not street. The end kind of trails away. There’s no I or you
in here. There’s nowhere in me.


Words Revised by the Client


I hear this phrase is forbidden? That sentence feels like lies?
My brother’s wife says this clause is gossip? In my eyes that
comma causes problems? These letters read too much like
writing? Maybe make it a little less professional. Maybe this
but different. Maybe a bit zippy. Maybe the same in
innovative ways. Maybe skewed about eighteen degrees.
Maybe just better. More flow! More bang! More buzz! More
wow! More zing! More pizzazz! I want something that won’t
waste my batteries. That has a lifetime warranty. Buys me
drinks. Does my taxes. Does your job. Something that tries
on my behalf. I didn’t realize you’d require my creative
guidance. Please offer me all possible combinations of
thought. Answer brainteasers I haven’t posed. Surprise me
with my ideas. Provide what I expect instead of request.
You’re the expert except. Why can’t you choose?

Words that Start with F-U


If you agree with me. If you don’t mind. I mean don’t
matter. If you act like a likeable you. I mean I admire the
idea of you. I mean people love dimples. If you make
impossible seem somewhat difficult. I mean simple. If you
can work without looking busy. If you can be easy to
comprehend. I mean get. I mean auto mechanic. If you
lessen yourself by twenty percent. I mean lengthen. I mean I
see you need both. If you stay safe. I mean say maybe. I
mean a shame for accidents to happen. If you close with a
surprise. I mean a prize. I mean a cliff. I mean at least three
of you. I mean me the whole time. I mean more is more. If
you know what I mean. If you know what’s good for you. I
mean you know I know you know you know.





Steven D. Schroeder’s second book, The Royal Nonesuch (Spark Wheel Press), won the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. His poetry is recently available from CrazyhorseMichigan Quarterly Review, and Diagram. He works as a creative content manager for a financial marketing agency in St. Louis.