UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
JANIE HOFMAN

Spines

He insisted on an illustrated book for his every action. He went to the library and
studied spines. His favorite colours: navy, burgundy, grey; his favorite width and
height: one inch by twelve inches. He photographed them on Saturday and checked them
out on Tuesday. He lined them up underneath his glass table, spines upwards, smeared
the glass with grape jelly, coffee. Let it dry. Now he could see what the spines
would look like once they were old and dirty. The navy spine with white letters was
the most readable. He wrote his first book: Me eating while leaning on the stove.
Illustrated by Me.


In Name Only

She had a name,
said to herself, I will be safe
with this name because
it's not Julie or Marge
and doesn't end in the letter y.
She printed the name on her
tax form, licked the stamp
and slipped the letter
into the mail box, flakes
of snow sneaking down
the cold red metal mouth
that snapped shut on the envelope
and bit her name in two.









2007 Underground Voices