The system is thick with sparrows. I can only
say so much about sparrows. That they are not blue.
That they are a buffer against meaning. That they are
not arrows. When I want to be wrong I use sparrows
to make intelligent wounds. I call the wounds ears.
Through an ear it is possible to touch one’s own organs.
Through an ear it is possible to translate the phrase
nocturnal bundle to mean a piece of confusion grows
in the gesture machine. Through an ear it is possible
to have feelings because an ear is a primitive frame.
When learning to use ears it is good to hide vibrations
so as to hear disturbances in the pattern. When I walk
into the system I feel like a high-resolution mistake.
When I walk out of the system I am willing
to point at a sparrow and call it anything.
Nick Sturm is the author of the chapbook WHAT A TREMENDOUS TIME WE’RE HAVING! (iO Books, 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Catch Up, Dark Sky, Forklift, Ohio, Jellyfish, Red Lightbulbs, Sixth Finch, TYPO, and elsewhere. His reviews and interviews can be found widely in places like Coldfront, HTMLGIANT, Bookslut, and elsewhere. He is associate editor of YesYes Books and curator of THE BIG BIG MESS READING SERIES.