Away from my Dream Desk

Office chair in field
Out of Office by Victor Bezrukov

The machine powers up bad. Time

to grow summer, hours of green

and forgetting. Learn to fake it,

right, Señor Somebody,

Sir Hurts-a lot & beauty hack,

everyone’s et cetera and star-


fucker, leech. Vertigo troubles

the old bones, this side of the galaxy.

Order in moonlight.

Sprout yellow legumes, rack

the portable fruit bombs.

Fly my gone-fishing

flag. I’ll carefully

studies my I.

Click here to read Peter Ramos on the origin of the poem.


Photo:  “Out of Office” by Victor Bezrukov; licensed under CC BY 2.0

Peter Ramos:
This began as an experiment I learned from poet Carmen Giménez Smith in which one takes an existing poem and transcribes it in reverse order. She got this from a letter of Emily Dickinson’s in which she mentions reading a poem in reverse (from the bottom up) to a different but equally enjoyable thrill. I tried several Dream Song poems by Berryman, but none seemed to work as a prompt for my own poem. But somehow, after revising and combing and then switching out all the words and then starting again, I got this very Berryman-esque Berryman tribute (“…Dream Desk,” etc.) poem. In it I tried to invoke or perform the Berryman “self” which, as I take it, works wonderfully for this kind of tongue-in-cheek confessional in which a number of plastic comedic and neurotic selves, slightly cartoonish yet no less “real” than any other self, vie for visibility.


Peter Ramos
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