‘exercise 1’ by Cayden Johnson

no words exist in a room without boundaries
in the sense that people breathe underwater
a large open window lets daylight into the white room
transparent fabric hangs a metre in front of the glass
the fabric is not a blind
the words are not a line
they live inside the anti-sentence
in messy vers libre no one respects
inside the cement floor are letters
you can bend down to pick them up
but will notice they slither away to form faces
tiny images descend into the hard surface
on the sheet stained with sweat
appears one strung-together phrase
plucked from a voice that allows us to understand
what barriers we want to cross
discussions important to our time
the fabric does not consult google
letters move up its sheer texture like kids on a rope
this energy spells while tongues choose their own direction
return to where the letters came through quick-sand cement
or crawl out the window like a high-rise burglar
with the wisdom of sage and the innovation of consequence


CAYDEN JOHNSON practices experimental poetry and photography. She is an MFA candidate at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Her poems have appeared on various art show ephemera. She currently works as a teaching assistant and freelance book editor.

Copyright © 2019 by Cayden Johnson. All rights reserved.