Precision German Craftsmanship

By Matthew Rohrer b. 1970 Matthew Rohrer
It was a good day and I was about to do something important
and good, but then I unscrewed the pen I was using
to see the ink. Precision German craftsmanship.
The Germans are so persnickety and precise,
they wash their driveways. Their mountains and streams
dance around each other in a clockwork, courtly imitation
of spring. They build the Panzer tank, out of rakes
hoses and garden gnomes; they built me.
And I’ve seated myself above an avenue on the brink
of mystery, always just on the lip, with my toes over the lip
but my bowels behind.
When I replaced the ink the sky was socked in,
only one window of blue open in the north, directly over someone.
But that person was reading about Rosicrucians in the laundromat,
he was unaware as the blue window closed above him.
The rest of us are limp and damp,
I see a button in front of us that says “spin cycle.”
I’m going to push it.

Matthew Rohrer, “Precision German Craftsmanship” from Satellite. Copyright © 2001 by Matthew Rohrer. Reprinted by permission of Wave Books.

Source: Satellite (Wave Books, 2001)

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Poet Matthew Rohrer b. 1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Architecture & Design, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

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 Matthew  Rohrer


Matthew Rohrer was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Oklahoma. He earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. His first collection, A Hummock in the Malookas (1995), was selected by Mary Oliver for the National Poetry Series. He is the author of Satellite (2001), A Green Light (2004), Rise Up (2007), They All Seemed Asleep (2008), and A Plate of Chicken (2009). Destroyer and Preserver (2011). He has . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Architecture & Design, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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