A N N E X   P R E S S   2 0 1 5 

T O M    M A N D E L      from  L E T T E R   T O   P O E T R Y 

Broken Circle Takedowns

When token circle breakdowns cause
fault lines across cloud nine

your words begin to haunt me like
last year’s big idea

about tomorrow. It’s hard to
live where one was happy

once – but is that true? Pavese
wrote the words & though they

please, I ask you: tell me who lives
anywhere anymore
even for a little while?
It’s like I always say

what irony must undermine
first it will assert: if

I started out to waste my time
now I have outlived it.

When I bow my head before you
to acknowledge I am

still your slave its downward angle
hides my face giving you

no way to see me roll my eyes
features in a grimace

as I mug for my friends – they’re slaves
too & line the walls of

capital’s local cubicle
watching you vainly try

to imagine something of me 
from what you cannot see.