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there’s this bug that crawls across my work

drags its body forth and back, a linebreaking

red and black spotted intruder from microsoft

or some automated literary critique program, every

time it crosses a definite article it beeps, if a phrase

is repeated more than twice it hiccups a reptilian

triplet and when it encounters a numeral or an

ampersand instead of everything spelled out, it spins

a little dance, raises its hind wheels and edits the

offending abbreviation with a white-out wand and

clacking overtype that makes me think it’s a descendant

of one of those golf ball typewriters my father used.


the only thing it can’t do is turn pages—when it reaches

a page break it flips over on its back and tinkles a little

motto almost like my dog does when he wants you to

scratch his tummy; only problem is this bag of cuss words

it collects which you need to empty out manually every

so often. i’m keeping this trash to have a private

ticker tape parade next time one of my manuscripts

is accepted.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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