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This Piece of Paper

from Personnel Envelo​-​file (1997) by Thunderegg



Threaded this page to write a letter to you, only the finest linen weave stock would do. The ivory white stared me down cold and grim, I reeled and I staggered, searching for a pseudonym, I wretched and doubled over and fell out of my chair, and when I pulled myself up, this piece of paper was still there. This piece of paper still did glare.

I wrote you three times, but twice to apologize for the one time I wrote to psychoanalyze. To show I’m past petty grievance, I thought I’d drop you a line. I want to tell you happy birthday even though you forgot mine. I wrote the whole thing in my head from the viewpoint of my bear, but when I opened up my eyes, this piece of paper was still there. This piece of paper still did glare.

Now I heard from a friend you went out on a date. I’m afraid you’re not alone, which is why I won’t call late. I won’t call you in the afternoon, you might be with him at your classes, and I won’t call you early, he may be making morning passes. But I can script the gilded letter and plead how much I care. The quill will pause in mid-air, the piece of paper is still there. This piece of paper still does stare.

The empty page reminded me of the void I felt inside, so that is what I wrote about, and that took up two lines. A pathetic sentence fragment led me to feel even worse, so I wrote about that, too, and I wound up with a verse. I spent the next half hour writing down all that was wrong, and the blank page blinked, and what stared back was what stared back all along. This piece of paper is now a song.


from Personnel Envelo​-​file (1997), released February 18, 1997




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