Two Poems by Sean Steele


Where in the manual of life—
———–given piecemeal, as demand demands
———–unfurled like a sheet to settle off-kilter onto some bed of experience
—does it advise as to the intricacies of expression?

in order to ascertain an approximate answer
I thumbed to what of the Index was available to me at the time
in search of resources and references and readjustment routines reticulated
to suit my arrangement (in history and etc.) and thus rearrange and revise my regular routes

the Index referred me to pages of instructions
as to how to hold the brush
or how to position the foot in such-and-such a dance
or how to alliterate so as to allude to alternative assumptions underlying the algorithms of poetry
or even how to position the wrist above the fingers above the piano keys
so as to properly prepare the arm for composition in its ephemeral iterations [see Improvisatory
Expression, p. 1922]

it provided what is called Food For Thought
cross-Indexed, if memory serves,
but my perusals left an immediate hunger to express in intangibles
as if a fluid were backed up somewhere in the Infinite Flow of Things [cf. Time, p. 3841]
I pursued the Index in search of some corkscrew in metaphor
desiring a kind of pouring-forth to occur
———–a form of necessary healing
otherwise the cork holds back a kind of emotional sewage
———–ugly and unavoidable

despite my initial disappointments I know that the Index can continue to offer us its secrets
one entry at a time
if perseverance dovetails delicately with perspicacity

I am dreaming of a place in a book
where it all comes together
where the cartoon bulb alights overtop my illustrated head
and the revelations reduce themselves to entries entered by invisible hands
benevolent paragraphs reductive in profundity
like the poetic version of a ship in a bottle

I dislike this vision because it’s parasitic
feeding off the Volumes Written Already [see Literature, p. 2129]
as if referencing what once was based on reference
could possibly refract the light any closer to the Truth [cf. Myth, p. 2373]

better still to burn the Book in its entirety
and warm my hands by its incandescence
so they are ample and ready
to record a truth they feel in the wind passing between houses and fingers both






SEAN STEELE, is a writer, musician, and educator raised on Vancouver Island and based in Toronto. His poetry has previously appeared in Sewer Lid. He performs with the rock band Zuffalo, whose debut album was released in 2018 ( and releases his own music as Mareotis, whose latest album was also released in 2018 (


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest