Tuesday, January 24, 2012


(printing a poem on the platen press)

 I stand,
facing the wooden trays,
letter by leaden letter,
molding them into
the word.
I arrange the words,
side by side,
into the line,
encased in lead blocks.
I build the lines,
one by one,
into the stanza,
into the poem--
becoming alive
inside the chase,
by wooden
and leaden
held fast
by quoins
and key.

I place the chase
into the cradle
of the platen press,
apply the ink
onto the plate,
that transfers
onto the rollers,
onto the letters, the words, the lines,
the poem.

The press rotates,
the poem flies
onto paper,
into minds,
into air,

I take out the chase,
insert the key,
release the quoins,
remove the furniture,
return the lines,
the words,
the letters
back into
the wooden boxes.

Until the next time
when they’re needed
to be molded
into the new

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