Marcus Ten Low: ‘despair at the typewriter’ and ‘snoutings of pigs’

despair at the typewriter

a shuddering panache
of clingy letters, words struck
violently onto the paper
which reels up like some hairdo,
spooled under the carriage.

typeset with overcorrections
of every typo burning vague
unevennesses of script, as for
a play, something immediately
presented, strung out by machine;

as if such buttons were
on a tuxedo’s front, or exclamations!
questions? made out blurry,
line after line of dictation
in a windowed office, in a narrow block

of buildings, these dangly
fingers twitching, reaching for
novelties, novelettes and nous,
with some half-eaten sandwich
on the desk waylaid of these expressed.

Marcus Ten Low


snoutings of pigs

the farmyard pigs
move, move toward the light

scrabbling for a view
of the world so vast, so slight,

angled toward their nosings
for air, water, nourishment

and yet these rains, this darkness
wells like monstrosities—

and do you hear their screaming,
in the shadows of the gas chambers?

their stolen bodies emerge
from those depths, their souls

enamoured with the memory
of their clambering, their relentless

squelching, gasping for air
with so wise, wistful smiles.

Marcus Ten Low

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