Two Poems

By Christopher Wood






Tonight I was born Chrix at Taco

Bell. Two shredded chicken soft tacos

and a bean burrito. Burritos are tacos.

I think about the young man on the

hookup app and how this is such a

specific early time after the orgy.

The orgy is technology. After the orgy,

predicates. I tried to upsell the hookup,

a movie. He sent me three more pictures

with vastly different haircuts. What will

I get? He says he’s interested, all week.

But he only has time to stop by when

I’m not around. I don’t tell him I’m in

full suspense, suspension of belief. I get

the last time he logged in by the app — 

a matter of hours. He gets mine. I’m

mostly only checking his movement cross

boroughs. I want more than naked late

afternoon lunch. Hoop Dreams, A Chorus

Line, Calendar Boy, Yo Yo Yo. What a

pastiche of montage. I want to cut

him in the screening room. I want

to communicate to him that I want

this. This is our medium, my line

while he worships me.




My Machines


Get a living space with its own washer and dryer, if you can swing it.

You will save precious writing hours not traveling to and from the laundromat.

It’s not even about the money. If rent overall is higher for the washer-and-dryer place than for a non-Maytag domicile (plus coins), you still make out ahead many hours per week.

Hours are worth more than overtime bonuses. Even if wages don’t cover all your bills and the Maytag rent. You banged out your writing this morning. Just don’t worry so hard. 

Remember when laundry tore up your weekend? That Sunday black hole?

The in-house machines are crucial for taking the next step in writing freelance out of a home office. The machines signal that you are beginning to make it.

Other expenses to consider scrapping: car, storage space for books that don’t fit, non-wedding vacations, gym membership.

And stop taking on all these freelance assignments! Aren’t you looking for a book advance?

Operating the machines is also perfect for during boxing telecasts. And as a rumbly screen to protect your silent reading from co-residential intruders.

There is so much more reading involved when you write, ostensibly, full-time. It’s practically all reading.

You can think the next word up by trying to reproduce each letter in your mind, one after the next. Or you can read the words.

You’ve got to read.

The day’s page count is misleading.

Three loads of laundry neatly folded. And the dishwasher’s clean.

Boxing is usually broadcast on Friday and Saturday nights, when the ambient rattle of machine washing is tolerable in neighboring units at a later hour.

The wash cycle continues so you don’t miss a second of the biographical featurette preceding the main event.

Because the ring announcer repeats the basic facts already covered in the lead-up, you are free to transfer laundry from washer to dryer as he bellows.

There’s no new visual information to miss during the ring announcer portion. All boxers and cornermen make identical stern faces during these announcements.

You have plenty of time to pull apart each damp article and place it individually in the dryer. The announcer hasn’t started on the second guy yet.

Pour yourself a soft drink. Since you’re watching the boxing alone, there’s no need for a thirty-rack of Bud heavies or handle of cheap scotch. You’ve graduated from your previous hole to a civilized living space with washer and dryer.

Now it’s time to enjoy the boxing. Watch the first six rounds uninterrupted. If there are commercials between rounds, take in the mainstream culture of the moment.

Beginning after the sixth round, if it’s still going (the fight), remove smaller items from the dryer. Fold them by the TV and start your little piles on the back of the couch.

It’s a perfect system. Just take a little more from the dryer after subsequent rounds: enough in both hands, but no more than that. You don’t want to be caught folding when the action starts back up.

If the fight is the main event, it will likely be fought professionally in the later rounds. That means the boxer who’s ahead on the scorecards isn’t going to chance a murderous assault until the final minute of a round, if that.

Feel free to read during the first two minutes of the later rounds. Don’t fold any socks until the dryer is empty. There will be some obvious pairs at all times. Just leave them alone.

The larger articles are removed last, but they’re easier to fold. Shake out towels for hidden socks.

Read old book reviews and tear out pages that mention books you should read and deposit those pages or half-pages on your work desk. Multi-book advertisements funded by university presses can also be helpful.

Don’t waste any time prematurely matching up the socks. Keep returning to the dryer until it’s emptied.

Writing without doing your reading is like searching for the phantom sock left in the dryer.



Christopher Wood was born in Springfield, Mass. and lives in New York. His fiction and essays have appeared on Vol 1 Brooklyn, The Millions, Full Stop and elsewhere. A section of his long poem, "America Today," was published by Dispatches from the Poetry Wars.

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