THERE IS A ROOM RESERVED FOR THE HOPELESS
The bright yellow paint is chipping.
The inmates do not share the time of day
or even the most casual of glances.
We've less to speak of
than you can imagine.
The clock is the book most often referred to.
The Reader's Digest books
may well be rigged. We swallow pills
and eight cups of water
and three square meals
from clock-shaped plates
with hour and minute hands for fork and knife and clatter
a little too loudly.
We observe the trolley
enter at eight, twelve and five.
Turns are taken
at bemoaning the chill
the food caught on the journey
from a kitchen we've never seen.
Within the reserved room
is the room to which our smoking
is reserved. Weeping is welcome everywhere.
I was told he was working on a book called E=9,
the hopelessness of its completion
was grounds for his admission.
My ingrateful dozing through breakfast
makes them hope
I'll vacate soon.
-- supplementary material for my review of Angela Hibbs' Wanton in The Rover.