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Mrs Everywhere

Nineteen dollars and fifty cents

Gabrielle Taylor

I'm supposed to be working right now, but
nothing is more appealing than writing a poem
when one should be doing something else. There
is no better time to write a poem than when one
should be doing something one hates to do. Then
one can feel this particular time was spent as if
it was really expensive: it was time with a dollar
figure attached. So far this poem has cost me three
dollars just to write. If I spend too much time on it
now, then money will have to steal time from sleep the way
right now poetry is stealing time from money. That's how it
goes. Everybody steals from somebody else, with the whole body
eventually covering all the bills. You can steal time from work
and money and sleep but the body still pays for it all in the end.

I'll give it a little advance now:
I'll give it a little of the bad white
wine stinking up the fridge. The tongue
and the nose won't be happy, but the rest
of the body normally has no say. The body's
no democracy. So how can a bunch of bodies make one?

I stopped writing the poem for a minute
to get the wine and to check on the music
I'm stealing. I'm stealing it from money,
in the sense that I could pay for it, I guess,
although I can't afford to buy a hundredth as much
music as I need. To have no music would turn me blue
and not make anybody happier, except some record company
executives, and then only in principle. If I wrote them
and said, I'm very sick and broke and music would help me
but I'm not stealing it, would it make them happy? Time is
sort of finite but music feels like infinity. I can love the
same music over and over but I can only have this time once. When
I needed a break from the poetry I got wine and I took care of the
music, and when I was done getting wine and taking care of the music
I went back to poetry. What choices! I wish I got money to make choices
like this instead of to work!

Now this poem has cost about nineteen dollars
and fifty cents to write, in that I could have
done nineteen dollars and fifty cents worth of work
instead of writing it. Nineteen dollars and fifty cents
for a poem! What a bargain!

Gabrielle Taylor is a writer, photographer and internet consultant in Ottawa. She operates Moon Farmer, with Shad Muegge, My Toxic Life, and the Hypercube Photo Gallery of Canada. She has an intellectual online game at She is pro love. For nineteen dollars and fifty cents, she'll write another poem.

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