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by Bob Arcania

Typewriters are often black, shaped like little cubes,
they sound like Vietnam inside a closet,
they grow old to the tunes of The Beatles;
it is expected that you smoke and drink too much.

A typewriter tastes like a lazy Wednesday hangover.
It is motor oil slapstick on crisp white linens.
The crunch of kindergarten under your black belt.

I had to dig my typewriter out of a twenty foot tidal wave
and let me tell you it was not as simple as you’d think.

A typewriter smoothed out my mother’s conscience.
She knew every key smash to her raisin forgiveness
and it sang, it sang.

Tomorrow there is a common thread
of roped together As and Bs trailing
from my desk to the Garbage bin.

clack click ity clack
clack click ity clack
clack click ity clack

Take two parts gin and one part rain coat:
divide into the sum of what is this trend antique.

Researchers report that the typewriter, indigenous to the tropical
forests of our moon, has contracted a mysterious bacteria which
targets the synapses that connect limbs to the liver. It is not yet
known if this is because you left it sitting in the rain too long or
because the dust is so thick in the air that it cannot grow further.

When cupped in your hand, the typewriter weighs
as much as the memory of your childhood,
or a thimble full of whiskey, you are swinging
from a tree branch, landing on the cracked earth,
there is something diseased about your habits.


Author's Note: why do I write about typewriters??

Posted on 02/07/2008
Copyright © 2024 Bob Arcania

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Rebekah Marxen on 03/10/08 at 01:19 AM

I can't seem to sit down at my typewriter since I've quit smoking.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/12/12 at 02:36 PM

Loved this. Everyone should take a whack at an old typewriter. I have vivid memories of timed lessons in typing class, praying my fingers would cooperate. White out, does anyone have white out??!! :) Loved the IBM I used later as a secretary - it was magic at that time and went a step beyond this poem - not the same finger pressure needed but the rhythm was similar.

Posted by Ken Harnisch on 12/12/12 at 02:44 PM

Click! ping! Return!...this is brilliant, Bob...brilliant.

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