Sarah Carleton: “That Cloud Looks Like a Typewriter”

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That Cloud Looks Like a Typewriter

In mid-century films, the typewriter
was an extroversion machine, clattering day after day
as if to declare, “I’m not some dream-bound poet

lying back, looking up at the sky,
but a vital cog in the gears of capitalism.
Check out my rising paper stack!”

and on-screen scribblers, prolific
even when spinning their wheels, would toss
wadded sheets, filling trash cans and littering

floors with their blockage,
because back then you could fix any jam
by generating mounds of garbage, not like how

I now burrow into my muted keyboard, private
except for the crowing and sighing I scatter
across social-media sites—no prop could advertise

my steady pecking and writerly pluck here
twixt laptop and couch or the ethereal junkpile
of false starts that’s seeding a cloud.

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About the Author: Sarah Carleton writes poetry, edits fiction, tutors English, plays the banjo, and makes her husband laugh in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Cider Press Review, Nimrod, Chattahoochee Review, Tar River Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, and New Ohio Review. Her first collection, Notes from the Girl Cave, was recently published by Kelsay Books.

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Image Credit: Harris & Ewing, photographer “Woman at typewriter” [between 1921 and 1923] The Library of Congress

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