No Such Thing

Julie Choffel


too embarrassed to say it, but here goes
the clock round & round it
is a crutch of excuses
& the counting too
this continuing, my breath
as avoidance; I don’t know
to feel like breathing is enough
if the matter in us can be
or the immaterial can
you see what I mean.
always trying &
never quite it. sometimes I
cook an egg, and I think
my favorite poet would applaud this egg,
and sometimes I write a poem and
I think of it as butter
from a very specific farm.
it is more helpful
for me if I am
more farm than person,
of course it’s terrible with its
economy, fake nature,
worker cliché, women & all
but also, mistakes, ambivalent weather,
death & homesteading.
and anyway, I am a very slow worker,
I tend to lie down in the middle of the job
and inhabit the whole place
like oh I was just getting ready to get started
again, and when I finish anything it’s
gone. & then another
task! open the minutes
until they are more
and I’ve done it
worked it
and I’ve forgotten
and not done it


Julie Choffel grew up in Austin, Texas. She is the author of The Hello Delay (Fordham, 2012) as well as a recent chapbook, The Chicories (Ethel Press, 2019). She teaches creative writing at the University of Connecticut.



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