Drawing In The Margins

In every school of iridescent fish that darts,
there is one lagging behind, trying politely to escape
without forcing others to chase.
It fades into memory behind the lines
of other fish before it. Alone, complacent, numb,
it knows it has no more excuses to invent.

A brilliant scientist who chooses to invent
spends youth watching his hand as it darts
across the chalkboard writing formulae. Later, numb,
the body finds it cannot keep up with the mind. No escape,
it finds itself trapped within the physical lines
of old age. The mind is forced to chase

juxtaposed memories, as when that big blue cat chased
the little girl around the yard. To prevent boredom, invent
such things. Memories are more fun than lines
tracing the paths of steel darts
thrown at an illusionary dartboard. We all try to escape
the fate of becoming monotonous and numb


Even the dog, who some wrongly consider numb
to boredom, has escape routes. When he sleeps, he will chase
white rabbits in his mind. They always try to escape.
This provides late night entertainment. The dog cannot invent
or appreciate televisions, VCRs, darts --
This is why you donít see dogs in movie theatre ticket lines.

Highways used to have different shapes. Now divided into equal lanes by lines,
They continue forever, never meeting. This makes them numb
to the feelings of the other lanes. If a lane darts
away from the others, engineers will be forced to chase
it and put it back -- parallel and even. Someone had to invent
guard rails to make sure the highway lanes couldnít escape.


Sometimes I need to escape:
when, while writing a paper, the lines
refuse to add up to the page requirement. I have run out of ways to invent
extra paragraphs. I stare at the monitor and we exchange numb
and blank glances. In my mind, a dog chases
a fish on a highway, as the fish darts


into the concrete to escape. My eyelids grow numb
as the lonely lines on the screen begin to chase
each other, and the child inventor kneels, pelting his adult with darts.