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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.