Upcycle

Mallets can beat flat the past
of some drawer-dead stick of silverware
and then coil it around some fingers,
pretend it hasn’t been in a hundred mouths.
There is nothing more impotent for
a knife than to curl back against itself
and then there it sits,
dull on your thumb.
A door is different, it is big, but
you can change it easy.
What it used to be is
ripe for metaphor with all its
openings and closings. They are
mostly wood, which is a grown thing,
and so here it is doing that again:
headboard, shelf, table.
It becomes something again.
What is it all, really? It all is a lamp.
The wine bottles, the silver kettle, the fan,
soccer ball, sweater even, but mostly
it is all the wine bottles.
Other things are other things—
jeans are bracelets,
dresser drawers are chalkboards,
stacked suitcases are a chair.
The pages of books are now
folded paper flowers of words,
and printed up fans and wreaths.
Books are a planter, or it holds keys and teas.
This is what words do, though.
They are always in revision.
Pages and pages of something else in that
endless work of recreating.

Paul Wiegel is a Green Bay native and now writes from his home near the Fox River in Wisconsin. His work is forthcoming in the English Journal and Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. He is the 2015 winner of the John Gahagan Poetry Prize.

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