The Setting of Type

Knuckles reshaped
by letterpress,
fingerprints erased
by hot metal slugs,
inked hands rough
and calloused by linotype
setting elegant sentences
composed by others,
under the dim forty
watt bulb in the bathroom
he mixed water with darkness
and rinsed his fingers’ eloquence,
touched his palms,
traced for the syntax
of his marriage, his self,
in those small, creviced maps
of his own vocabulary.


About the Poet:
Jeff Burt lives in California with his wife amid the redwood and two-lane roads wide enough for one car. He has work in The Nervous Breakdown, Amarillo Bay, Atticus Review, and forthcoming in Per Contra. He was the featured summer issue poet of Clerestory, won the 2011 SuRaa short fiction award, and been nominated for a Best of the Net Award.


Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Photo by Brigitee Werner.